Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Salty...and UMAMI?
My husband Joel asked me the other day about this word because one of our favorite chef turned TV host Anthony Bourdain used it to describe one of the dishes he tried on his food show (No Reservations). I simply told him that it is the fifth primary taste which basically means "savory"! He said he never encountered that word before and it just gave me an idea to write about it since it seems that not a lot of people are aware of it. So for those interested to know about it, here it goes...
Technically speaking, the word UMAMI (a Japanese word) is a pleasant savory taste imparted by glutamate (a type of amino acid) and ribonucleotides (I can't even pronounce this word) which occur naturally in foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don't really recognize "it" until they encounter umami.
This discovery of the fifth taste happened in Japan thanks to Dr. Kikunae Ikeda of Tokyo Imperial University.
Here are the facts I gathered;
Blame It on 'Dashi' Stock