Gift Guide, Day 24

Colatura di Alici:

This is the essence of anchovy - and very likely what the Romans thought of as garum.  Its closest relative is Asian fish sauce, but Colatura di Alici is richer, more elegant (and more expensive). Still, it’s a powerful elixir, and a single bottle will very likely last a year in most people’s refrigerators.

What do you do with the wonderful stuff?  Use it almost anywhere that you’d use anchovies.  I add it to Caesar salad dressings, for instance, and I like to sprinkle a few drops into a bowl of sautéed kale.  When I'm making a simple dish of spaghetti with garlic, it adds a wonderful depth of flavor.

This is probably the last day you can still mail order a gift in time for Christmas.  The truth is that anyone who likes to cook would be very happy to see this show up at their door. It will give them  the opportunity to play around with an exotic ingredient all year long. And every time they use it, they'll think of you.

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You had me at Asian fish sauce.

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Where am I eating? What's for dinner tonight? And what books have I been reading? For a look at what's going on in my life lately, take a look at this journal, which I try to update on a regular basis.