When it comes to flavor, there’s sour, sweet, salty, and bitter. You can probably name foods that fall into each of those categories. But what is umami?
“It’s that sometimes forgotten-about fifth element of taste that can be hard to describe. We reached out to chefs who create umami-rich dishes every day to figure out what umami is, what ingredients have it, and how you can use it in your kitchen.”
Article published in Delish, September 27, 2022.
What Is Umami And How Can You Add It To Your Cooking?
by Felicia Lalomia, food & culture editor
More direct quotes from this article explaining what is umami:
“Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda, who discovered umami, also created monosodium glutamate, or MSG,” Hong Thaimee [chef and restaurant owner] said. “After discovering that glutamate was responsible for the umami taste of some of his favorite foods, Ikeda made monosodium glutamate into a seasoning. That way, he could add umami flavor into every dish he made.”
“For a simpler approach, keep umami-rich ingredients in your pantry. ‘Open your mind to using cross-culture flavors,’ Thaimee said. ‘I find when I use a dash of fish sauce in my Italian-based tomato soup, it helps to bring up and pull together the flavor, and you would never guess there was fish sauce in an Italian soup.’ You can also go with the OG umami bomb: MSG.”
Also, be sure to check out the featured umami-rich recipes in this excellent article. Read the full article here.