Gift Guide 2018: Super Umami

November 28, 2018

The ancient Romans called it garum – and used it in all their savory dishes. In Sicily it’s known as colatura. And all across southeast Asia fish sauce is an essential ingredient.

I was thrilled when I first discovered Red Boat, which is made in  Phu Quoc, home of the best Vietnamese fish sauce. But now they’ve gone one better with aged Phamily Reserve Fish Sauce

Is it different?  Yes. Fine fish sauce has a clear sharpness – like a knife blade cutting through layered flavors.  This special sauce, aged in barrels that once held bourbon and maple syrup, has the rounded quality of fine old cheese. The edges have been blunted so it adds an elegant note to everything it touches.  If you love dry-aged beef, this special aged fish sauce will make you very happy.

It’s expensive – $20 for a small bottle.  But it’s like perfume – a little goes a long way -so this gift will last. If you’re in need of a present for the cook who has everything, this is a good bet.  Aged fish sauce?  They probably don’t have it hanging around the larder.

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