Garum was a fermented fish sauce used as a condiment[1] in the cuisines of ancient Greece, Rome, and Byzantium. Liquamen was a similar preparation, and at times the two were synonymous. Although it enjoyed its greatest popularity in the Roman world, the sauce was earlier used by the Greeks.

Pliny the Elder and Isidore of Seville derive the Latin word garum from the Greek γαρός (garos),[2] a food named by Aristophanes, Sophocles, and Aeschylus. Garos may have been a type of fish, or a fish sauce similar to garum.[3] Pliny stated that garum was made from fish intestines, with salt, creating a liquor, the garum, and a sediment named (h)allec or allex.[3] A concentrated garum evaporated down to a thick paste with salt crystals was called muria;[4] it would have been rich in protein, amino acids, minerals and B vitamins.[5]

Like the modern fermented soy product soy sauce, fermented garum is rich in the natural amino acid monosodium glutamate, a source of umami flavoring.[6] It was used along with murri in medieval Byzantine and Arab cuisine to give a savory flavor to dishes.[7] Murri may well derive from garum.[