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

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