Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste
In the West, we have identified only four basic tastesÑsour, sweet, salty, and bitterÑthat, through skillful combination and technique, create delicious foods. Yet in many parts of East Asia over the past century, an additional flavor has entered the culinary lexicon: umami, a fifth taste impression that is savory, complex, and wholly distinct. Combining culinary history with recent research into the chemistry, preparation, nutrition, and culture of food, Mouritsen and Styrb¾k encapsulate what we know to date about the concept of umami, from ancient times to today. Umami can be found in soup stocks, meat dishes, air-dried ham, shellfish, aged cheeses, mushrooms, and ripe tomatoes, and it can enhance other taste substances to produce a transformative gustatory experience. Researchers have also discovered which substances in foodstuffs bring out umami, a breakthrough that allows any casual cook to prepare delicious and more nutritious meals with less fat, salt, and sugar. The implications of harnessing umami are both sensuous and social, enabling us to become more intimate with the subtleties of human taste while making better food choices for ourselves and our families. This volume, the product of an ongoing collaboration between a chef and a scientist, won the Danish national Mad+Medier-Prisen (Food and Media Award) in the category of academic food communication.
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What exactly is taste and why is it important?
Sour sweet salty and bitter
What is umami?
Seaweeds fish and shellfish
Fungi and plants
Meat eggs and dairy products
The secret behind the humble soup stock
Making the most of umami
Other editions - View all
5’-ribonucleotides amino acids anchovies asparagus baked basic tastes beef black pepper brain cells chef chile pepper chopped combination cooked cuisine dashi delicious dishes dried dulse eggs enhance example extract fermented fifth taste fillet fish sauce flavor foodstuffs free amino acids free glutamate fresh freshly ground black fungi garlic garum glutamate content glutamic acid gravy guanylate Ikeda impart umami inosinate Japan katsuobushi Kikunae Ikeda konbu liquid mackerel meat mg per 100g milk miso monkfish liver mushrooms nattō Niboshi Ninomiya Nordic nucleotides nutritional yeast olive oil onions oven oysters Parmesan percent potatoes proteins quantities raw ingredients recipe rice salt and freshly salty savory seaweed Serves shallots shellfish shiitake shōjin shōjin ryōri shōyu simmer smoked soup stock sour sources of umami soybeans sugar sweet synergy taste receptor taste substances Tbsp tomatoes traditional types umami taste vegetables vinegar wine Worcestershire sauce