Filipino version of garum, possibly introduced to the Philippines by Indian traders before the Spanish conquest. Pronounced as "bah-goh-ong".
It is a fermented paste made from fish or other seafood, like small freshwater crab (talangka). Alamang is bagoong made from dried shrimp. It is usually colored dark brown or reddish, sometimes a bright purple-red with food coloring.
The smell is disgusting to many Westerners, and travelers carrying bagoong are usually stopped at Customs, due to its strong stench of rotten fish.
Bagoong is very salty, and is eaten as a condiment (sometimes as a replacement for salt) with such dishes as green mangoes and kare-kare. (Green mangoes, sliced tomatoes, salted eggs (itlog na pula) goes very, very well with alamang or bagoong).
Any Pinoy family abroad that keeps a good stock of bagoong, patis, and other native goodies can count on having Filipino friends over for dinner almost every single night.