Umami-the 5th taste…

Saturday 9 May 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Guess what?,Taste

I had made Sushi yesterday and was discussing with Ishu about how I really miss the ones you get in Singapore with alpha alpha, radicchio, and endives in Fortune Centre Building. In my words that building is a pilgrimage for those who are vegetarian and want to experiment with mock meat! In all this I told Ishu that the taste in sushi can be categorized as umami. He was a bit taken back as he was not aware of this term. Ishu has always been very curious by nature, wants to know why, the guy reads around 4-5 newspapers a day! To be true I was also as unware of this term till I reached school. I might say this in a lot of my posts but at school you get to learn not only the techniques the style the recipes in relation to food but also the science behind everything.

So this is the gyan I gave him, will share with you guys also!

Umami is an idiom used for protein heavy items. It’s found in many foods, such as tomatoes, parmesan cheese, truffles, and many kinds of meat, seafood and different type of stocks. A term which originated in Tokyo, Japan. Umami as a separate savour was first identified in 1908 by Dr. Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University while following a line of investigation on the strong essence in seaweed broth. this is when the concept of MSG in Asian food started as a flavour enhancer.

Okay let’s give you the background of the factual talk he and I had :
We all know we have five senses.
• Sight
• Hear
• Taste
• Touch
• Smell
Senses are the structure mode of awareness. Taxonomy ascribed to Aristotle. In taste sensation, the tongue is composed of five diverse taste buds:

Flow chart

So you see everything is interconnected.
If you guys wanna explore more check this out: http://www.umamiinfo.com.
I highly recommend if you want to be a chef start reading on food now. I did it much later in life as I use to restrict my self with recipes and the kind of ingredients.
You know food has a world of its own.

Another interesting read:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15819485

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
------------------------------------------------------------------

My love for passion!

Sunday 3 May 2009 | Posted by Kishi | Cake,Fruits

passion fruit chocolate cakepassion fruitI am super excited as I see a lot of passion fruit in the market. There are so many different varieties but unfortunately in Delhi you get one or two rarely.
These days in every fruit stall you will NOW see a section that says imported exotic fruit, where you will find Kiwi, guava with this mesh style covers, apples, pears and big nice almost burgundy colour grapes. In few you will also find passion fruit.

I don’t know how many people know about passion fruit esp. coz it’s new to Indian palate and mostly used in gourmet cooking here esp. desserts. Passion fruit is from Southern Brazil if I am not mistaken and it’s a Vine. Being at CIA you have to go through a product knowledge class where you learn about different fruits varieties, vegetable. That’s where I first saw it…I thought it was a small aubergine or something. But you cut this little beauty in two pieces and you will see how pretty it is.
The nearly round or ovoid fruit, 1 to 3 inches wide, has a sturdy coat that is downy and waxy and ranging in hue from dark purple with faint, fine white specks, to light yellow or pumpkin-colour. Within is a cavity(not your tooth cavity hehe!) more or less filled with sweet-smelling mass of double walled, membranous sacs containing dark yellow almost orange-coloured, pulpy juice and as many as 100 no 250 no 300 that’s over exaggeration, small, hard, dark brown or black, pitted seeds. The unique flavour is appealing, musky, guava-like and sweet/tart to tart. Then there is the yellow form has generally larger fruit than the purple, but the pulp of the purple is less acid, richer in aroma and flavour, and has a higher percentage of juice .I think the yellow is tropical variety. I saw them all over in the bugis market, Singapore when my family lived there. You have a lot of suppliers that provide passion fruit puree and all with s**tt load of emulsifiers and stabilizers and sugar. That makes it more gelatine like and the real tart roughly sour (khatta) taste goes away.

Papa is a foodie. I can’t call him a good cook AT ALL! He knows everything possible in the world of what he wants to eat but how to make it …hmm No comments!
God if I ask my dad to get me some fruits, he buys the whole shop I feel.Few weeks back i had asked him to get me something different. I am going to write it in native lingo:
Shopkeeper: “Sir aam bhut acha hai le lijiye, Bangalore ka hai aapus”
Papa: “Thik hai ek peti de do”.

English translation:

Shopkeeper: Sir the mangoes are really nice, its alphanso (a variety which is called the king of mangoes) from the city of Bangalore.
Dad: Sure give me the whole carton!

So you see he doesn’t know the model of kg’s or Gms and its cartons!

He goes to Bengali market to buy fruits very often. He got me some passion fruit. Guess how much? Yes a carton of it! What am I going to do with it dad this is what I asked him….his reaction :you are a chef make something!

So I decided to add a new flavour to my menu- Passion fruit -chocolate cake.
Spent the day took out all the seeds and made lots of puree stored in small containers and stored them in the freezer. Before I add a new flavour I have to do a lot of testing ,costing etc etc. The other facet of a chef! Once that was(puree) finished obviously I had to continue. So now I get a lovely fresh one coming in from France.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend
------------------------------------------------------------------