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Fallingtower

Garum, Garum and more Garum. Roman Food...Supersizers Style.

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Fallingtower

Doing some research on the subject of ancient Rome I came upon a highly entertaining UK show on youtube.

 

The Supersizers Eat...Ancient Rome

 

Check it out.

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Helen

That's a uk tv series (some years old now). They covered lots of time periods, including a 1920s one.

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Fallingtower

Did I say podcast...I meant TV show.

 

I'm a man...which means I have trouble multi-tasking...

 

Listening to a podcast while watching youtube clips.

 

Too much apparently for me to keep organized.

 

Thanks for the heads up Helen.

 

Thine Rocketh.

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wombat1

I have toyed with the idea of using some of the less alarming Roman recipes (no dormouse, for example) slightly modified for player food during one of the Cthulhu Invictus sessions. One could, for example, take a recipe for Lucanian sausages, and, just using ground meat rather than trying to make sausages, make a very nice grill-able burger. (I have tried this experiment, and survived it.)

 

"A Taste of Ancient Rome" by Ilaria Gozinni Giacosa (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994), ISBN: 978-0226290324 would have been the source I used for this.

 

I never quite got organized enough to do so, though, and since fermented fish sauce sounds rather more like a treatment than a treat, I am not sure it would be a big hit.

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EdwardPickmanDerby

Fermented fish sauce is actually pretty good. Fish sauce is all over SE Asian cuisine.

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WinstonP
...and since fermented fish sauce sounds rather more like a treatment than a treat, I am not sure it would be a big hit.

 

i hate to break it to you but if you've enjoyed Worcestershire Sauce, you've had some fermented fish sauce. ;)

 

Nam Pla is in a lot of dishes as well, but not as many in the US.

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wombat1
i hate to break it to you but if you've enjoyed Worcestershire Sauce, you've had some fermented fish sauce. ;)

 

Nam Pla is in a lot of dishes as well, but not as many in the US.

 

Yep, Worcestershire sauce is about as far as I can go down that path anymore though I was slightly more adventurous when I was younger; you will perhaps recall that Thai restaurant in Campustown in Ames (which has now converted into a Chinese buffet restaurant) which had the fish sauce that was spicy enough to also be used as a varnish remover, P. Ack. and T. Coch. were particular fans of it. Only once, or maybe twice for that fish sauce, and no more. Most of the players I have now would not thank me if I sprang anything like that on them, less so if I explained what it was.

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ElijahWhateley
i hate to break it to you but if you've enjoyed Worcestershire Sauce, you've had some fermented fish sauce. ;)

 

Nam Pla is in a lot of dishes as well, but not as many in the US.

 

Good Caesar dressing has anchovies, too. Complete coincidence about the name.

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elmoiscariot

I've enjoyed the Pass the Garum/ blog for accessible, palatable-to-moderners Roman food. I think a little plate of dulciaria would be a lovely spot of immersion at a Cthulhu Invictus table.

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Gol-Goroth

LOL... I have a Garum company in The Legacy of Arrius Lurco. Someone is left one in Arrius Lurco's will.

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DrPeterson

Some PhD students from our Classics research group have been cooking and distilling to create some fantastic brews and dishes.

From the sweetest to the most revolting honeywines.

A particularly nasty one was the seawater flavoured one...

de gustibus et coloribus...

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justadame

Didn't Edith Piaf sing a tribute to Roman Sauce ? "Garum, garum, garum......" etc, ad nauseum.

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wombat1
LOL... I have a Garum company in The Legacy of Arrius Lurco. Someone is left one in Arrius Lurco's will.

 

Now there's a side scenario for the investigators--someone or something keeps stealing the garum jars. Could be innocuous, could be Mythos-related. But our heroes must figure out who keeps embezzling the rotten mackerel.

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Fallingtower
Could be innocuous, could be Mythos-related. But our heroes must figure out who keeps embezzling the rotten mackerel.

 

Lemme guess...it's deep one mating season.

 

For a garum-centric character I like the idea of a Philistine garum merchant named Ichthys.

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wombat1
Lemme guess...it's deep one mating season.

 

For a garum-centric character I like the idea of a Philistine garum merchant named Ichthys.

 

That would be a tad too straight forward and would not leave the players exclaiming "Holy Mackerel, Batman!" when they finally solved it. On the other hand, something like this may have potential: Mi-Go exude a variety of chemicals, I suppose, and perhaps garum smells remarkably like a preferred scent to them.

 

So Icthys, our garum merchant (I like that too), keeps losing his jars because some rather confused Mi-Go keep hauling it away through a gate back to home.

 

Meanwhile on Yuggoth, the following buzzing conversation takes place.

 

"You smell wonderful, dear, what is that scent?"

"Chanel Cat number 5"

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Fallingtower

Ichthys the Dagon worshipping Philistine (in my version of the tale) would be a hybrid and have actual deep ones working for him, thus giving him a fishy edge in the garum market. Ichthys' brand would be of the highest quality and thus extremely lucrative. For the embezzlers I'd have to go non-mythos and go with a strange new cult of pagan hating monotheists. Hell bent on destroying Ichthys' business.

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wombat1

Now that does have potential. Of course, to give a twist, there could be some garum competitors who wouldn't mind seeing either Ichthys or the cult getting annoyed for some reason, perhaps from the competition on one hand and on the other because they are head of the local mystery cult.

 

If either or both get thumped, all good, and if the authorities intervene to make the matter settle down, all the better.

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Fallingtower
Now that does have potential. Of course, to give a twist, there could be some garum competitors who wouldn't mind seeing either Ichthys or the cult getting annoyed for some reason, perhaps from the competition on one hand and on the other because they are head of the local mystery cult.

 

If either or both get thumped, all good, and if the authorities intervene to make the matter settle down, all the better.

 

I always enjoy throwing multiple antagonists into my scenarios. So a cabal of competing garum producers and stirred up Christians versus business minded deep ones would definitely make a nice volatile soup.

 

Two potential titles for the scenario...Garum, Scarum or The Passion of the Sauce.

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wombat1

Two potential titles for the scenario...Garum, Scarum or The Passion of the Sauce.

 

Since scenarios often contain little sayings or epigrams after the title, why not keep both?

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gladius

An exhibit about Pompeii recently came to Denver. One of the artifacts on display was a garum jug; they also had an actor roleplaying a Roman matron who had a jug of supposed garum that you could smell (but not taste). Photo of the garum jug attached below.

 

IMG_0043_sm.jpg

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Fallingtower

Just thinking...would chicken wings be the dormice of our modern era?

 

Small, boney, sweetly seasoned and kinda expensive for what they are.

 

Next time I run Invictus I have a feeling I might be getting me a bucket O' wings.

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wombat1
Just thinking...would chicken wings be the dormice of our modern era?

 

Small, boney, sweetly seasoned and kinda expensive for what they are.

 

Next time I run Invictus I have a feeling I might be getting me a bucket O' wings.

 

This has potential, you may try your hand at making defructum, a Roman condiment by way of a dipping or covering substance (I suspect that there were not very many hot spices available to the Romans, so you might not get the really hot wings). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defrutum

 

Get a couple of bunches of grapes, sweeter the better, and crush them down as though you were going to try to make grape juice. Now boil this in a sauce pot or pan until 2/3 of the original volume remains. If you are feeling like a naughty keeper you can add in Worcestershire sauce or a (not too spicy) oriental fish sauce, or just use as is. This then goes on the wings, rather than, say, ranch dressing or barbeque.

 

If you are feeling ambitious, you can try your hand at Chicken Fronto:

http://www.celtnet.org.uk/recipes/roman/fetch-recipe.php?rid=roman-chicken-fronto

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Fallingtower

The cook in Supersizers just sautéed the mousies in honey.

 

But...

 

I may try that defructum recipe, since I love grapes and am planning on planting some vines in my yard this weekend.

Making an authentic-ish Roman feast for my gamer pals isn't going to do-able. Neither are adventurous eaters at all. The closest thing to ancient Roman cuisine they'd be willing to try would be Little Caesar's pizza. Anything beyond that is far too exotic for their un-adventurous tastes.

 

But...

Friday I will be drinking my cheapo box wine in a plastic Arby's cup and munching on some KFC wing dings.

Hail Caesar!

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wombat1
The cook in Supersizers just sautéed the mousies in honey.

To start out my Invictus campaign, and to emphasize to the players that this was an ancient culture, and not a fantasy rpg or the 1920's, my opening was a meeting with a potential patron at a Roman feast, and I described the trauma of an improperly prepared dormouse, to general revulsion:

 

http://www.yog-sothoth.com/entries/2412-Episode-I-Lucius-Calpurnius-a-man-with-a-problem

 

I may try that defructum recipe, since I love grapes and am planning on planting some vines in my yard this weekend.

 

It shouldn't be too hard to render down some grapes that are pressed out for juice, both the juice and the pulp, and with a bit of sugar or honey added rather than some Worcestershire, I bet the players yum it down with chicken bits, even if they are not adventurous gastronomically.

 

Making an authentic-ish Roman feast for my gamer pals isn't going to do-able. Neither are adventurous eaters at all. The closest thing to ancient Roman cuisine they'd be willing to try would be Little Caesar's pizza. Anything beyond that is far too exotic for their un-adventurous tastes.

 

Yep, though there is no Columbian Exchange yet--no potato, no maize for polenta, and no tomato for sauce, neither has pasta reached Europe yet, it seems. They can have some barley or oat gruel or cream o' wheat; they can have some chicken or pork; they can have some grape whassis; they can have something like pita bread; all drizzled in Worcestershire sauce. Should satisfy the blandest taste.

 

If you do this once, especially serving cream o' wheat in Worcestershire sauce as a player snacky food at session, they may insist on taking over the catering, which would in fact be one object of the exercise if I tried it.

But...

Friday I will be drinking my cheapo box wine in a plastic Arby's cup and munching on some KFC wing dings.

Hail Caesar!

An article suggesting the Roman equivalent of box wine: http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/48389

The Falernian wine, apparently, had enough alcohol content to catch fire when lit, according to Pliny, so Mad Dog 20/20 sounds about right. If your players get enough on board, they may even come to like filet o' rat.

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Fallingtower
An exhibit about Pompeii recently came to Denver. One of the artifacts on display was a garum jug; they also had an actor roleplaying a Roman matron who had a jug of supposed garum that you could smell (but not taste). Photo of the garum jug attached below.

 

IMG_0043_sm.jpg

 

 

I like that...even the ancient Romans believed in advertising and marketing.

 

Diet Garum....Full Fish Flavor, half the calories.

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