How to Taste Umami

Umami is a strange flavor. Scientists now claim it is a basic taste alongside salt, sweet, sour, and bitter. But it is not easy to detect. We immediately identify sweetness or saltiness–umami is more subtle.   Although much of the world has been unknowingly enjoying it for centuries, until recently, only the Japanese had taken umami seriously as…

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Umami and the Aesthetics of Food

The discovery of umami as a fifth flavor is important because it gives us deeper insight into how taste works. Not only does it give chefs another color in their palette, it demonstrates the complexity and subtlety of food as an art form. The brothy, palate expanding effects of umami show that flavors are not…

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