Fr. Z’s Kitchen: Long-distance breakfast with a reader

I’m having virtual breakfast this morning with one of you readers who sent me a wonderful surprise, which I relish.

There was no gift slip in the box from the UK, and the only address suggest that it was not the giver who did the packaging. God knows who you are and I will include you in my intended prayers for benefactors.

What, you might be wondering, was sent?

Patum Peperium!


Just a little bit scraped over bread is not too little, as Bilbo was starting to feel as he aged, but is just the right amount, especially if the bread is good.

It is essentially a paste from anchovy with herbs.  I’ve written about it before.  Here, in a Zed-Head mug with strong English Breakfast Tea.

A wonderful change of pace from my usual powerful coffee and perhaps a little bread with jam and butter… or nothing.   Nothing other than coffee, that is.

The arrival of this Patum brightened two days, so far.  Happily, because it is used sparingly, there should be quite a few more.

The only problem is that, once I’ve finished off these rye toasts, I will want to start over.


The last time I wrote about Patum (sent by commentator here Zephyrinus), and my attempt to make it myself, I had just received a book from Angelico Press, with a title that I relished.

Christ The Liturgy by William Daniel


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Skeinster says:

    Gentleman’s Relish appears in two novels that actually sit next to each other on the bookshelf:
    “‘Have some nice hot toast then.’
    ‘Can I have Gentleman’s Relish on it?’ she said, quick to make capital of Aunt Sadie’s mood, for Gentleman’s Relish was kept strictly for Uncle Matthew, and supposed not to be good for children. The others made a great show of exchanging significant looks. These were intercepted, as they were meant to be, by Linda, who gave a tremendous bellowing boo-hoo and rushed upstairs.’
    -The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford

    In ‘The Waters Under the Earth” by John Moore, his baronet protagonist, who is a Naval veteran of WWI, packs Gentleman’s Relish as part of “some things which he fancied might come in handy during the course of a world catastrophe” in the autumn of 1938.
    He also includes two tins of curry powder, Pate de Foie Gras from Fortnums, two bottles of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and two large jars of Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade “with a view to saving up a few scraps of comfort and crumbs of civilisation against the time when such trifles might constitute a feast>”

    [I like the way that guy thinks. In my cupboard or icebox… curry power ✓… pate (not real foie gras nor from Fortnum’s (near Brompton Oratory… sigh… I like their biscuits in the tall tins, especially pistachio) ✓…Lea and Perrins ✓… and thanks to a reader Cooper’s Oxford Marmlade ✓. Add to that a newly arrived and still unopened a jar of Tiptree Little Scarlet.]

  2. teomatteo says:

    A bagna cauda with a ‘loofah’

  3. You know what I just discovered the virtues of? Colatura di alici or, as I like to think of it, modern-day garum. What really made me go “WOW!” was when I used it as an ingredient in, of all things, made-from-scratch macaroni and cheese (to which I also added beef bone broth — REAL, home-made beef bone broth, not instant). It really popped.

    You did not have colatura di alici on your wish list, or I would have sent you a celebratory bottle.

    [I actually have some colatura I need to use, but I will soon put it on the wishlist. It is the ultimate umami bomb. I like to macerate minced raw garlic and hot pepper flakes in colatura and a little olive oil and put it on room temp “angel hair” with a scattering of chopped parsley.]

  4. mysticalrose says:

    You know, virtual breakfast with Fr. Z wouldn’t be a bad fundraising idea….! We donate a certain amount and get to have a zoom call with you to pick your brain on all things ecclesial and Latin???? Just a thought!

    [Interesting! And it sounds rather fun.]

  5. Mariana2 says:


    Thanks, I had forgotten about Uncle Matthew and Gentleman’s Relish.

    Only ‘spread’ my husband likes, too. Unfortunately, after Brexit (of which I do not disapprove) expensive to import, and anything you do import is stuck in Customs for ages.

    There’s also Tiptree Morello Cherry jam, useful ‘en cas’, a very quick dessert on vanilla ice cream.

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