Are Classicists aware of this event in Tunisia?
The Garum summer festival was held on June 26 at the Sidi Slimane Cultural Center in Nabeul, at the initiative of the Safeguarding Association of the city. It is a gastronomic and scientific event highlights yet an unknown aspect of the ancient Roman city, Neapolis (Nabeul).
Gurum or Garon, as it was known among the Greeks was a culinary preparation made mainly of “fish, salt and herbs” and was in use in Greek cuisine from at least the 5th century BC. The production and trading of Garum lasted for at least one millennium.
On the agenda of the festival, buffet and tasting of Garum dishes, an ancient condiment made in Neapolis, in Roman times, as a sauce made from pickled fish (tuna, mackerel, sardines).
An exhibition was also scheduled to present a variety of fish sauce may be related to garum, such as Vietnamese “nuoc mam” and “pissalat niçois”.
Lectures were presented on “the benefits of Garum sauces and nuoc mam”, “the Garum amphorae and the trade of cured products”, “The Garum, the salting and the purple in Djerba, as well as the analysis of industry index of Garum and curing in Neapolis.
The festival was inaugurated with a visit to the archaeological site of Neapolis to give an overview of the industry of Garum and salted fish manufactures in Roman times.
Excavations at the site between 1995 and 2006, covering 2000 square meters carried out by a Tunisian-French team was also showcased in Neapolis, hosted salted manufacturers which date back to a time was estimated between 1st and the IV centuries AD.
These factories are second in the world after those found in Spain. They have large pools of salting with production capacity up to 138 m3. The Garum was packaged in amphorae whose remains found at the archaeological site of Neapolis, represent edifying testimonials.
The development of fishery activities in the region was facilitated by the proximity of tuna migration routes, the presence of shoals for growth of wildlife marine and numerous lakes forming natural pools.