Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- A savory sauce made from alecs (typically anchovies), especially in Mediterranean cuisine
- A savory sauce similar to that made from alecs, but containing no alecs
- 1851 "Fish sauces", Fraser's Magazine, Volume 43 By Thomas Carlyle, J. Fraser, 1851, page 267, "[T]he ancient alec corresponds to the modern anchovy... Garum, like alec, was sometimes the name given to a Greek fish (the species unknown) and sometimes the sauce formed from it." [Italics added]
- 1864 "Herrings", The Westminster Review, Volumes 81-82, J.M. Mason, 1864, page 178, "The anchovy...was well known and appreciated by the ancients, at least in a pickled state. It was known to the Romans by alec or halec and aphya; it appears at one time to have been used in making the celebrated garum or fish sauce, of which the alec sauce was a thickened variety". [Italics retained from original]
- 1854 Prose halieutics: or, Ancient and modern fish tattle By David Badham, J. W. Parker and Son, 1854, page 70-72, "Alec, like garum, was at once the name of a fish and of a sauce made from it... That the fish called halecula, of which the alec [sauce] was originally made, was the anchovy, seems probable [...but some] manufactured alec out of crabs, oysters, shrimps, sea-urchins, and a variety of improper substitutes".