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Old 02-10-2014, 08:24 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
Dried porcini mushrooms (cepes), ground to a powder in a spice grinder will add a great umami flavor to soups, stews, risotto, etc.
That is my favorite use for porcini powder, anything that I don't want chunks of mushroom in, but want the flavor.
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Old 02-10-2014, 08:43 AM   #22
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Do a taste test.

Taste a pinch if salt.

Rinse out your mouth.

Taste a drop of good soy sauce.

The umami should be readily apparent.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:51 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Do a taste test.

Taste a pinch if salt.

Rinse out your mouth.

Taste a drop of good soy sauce.

The umami should be readily apparent.
So what you are saying is that an ingredient with salt in it can add to the umami flavor as long as the saltiness isn't overbearing? Then it changes from umami to salty?

Good use for the porcinis! I've got a small amount I've been wondering what to do with.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:07 AM   #24
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Umami and salt can coexist.
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Old 02-10-2014, 10:51 AM   #25
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Interesting.
I wish I had saved those links from 5 years ago.
I was under the impression that it was a different flavor from saltiness. I know I read a couple definitions and they both mentioned saltiness (thus my "fixation"), but they stated umami was a separate flavor.
No biggie. I just like food that tastes good. It doesn't have to have a fancy name associated with it.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:07 AM   #26
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It *is* a different flavor from saltiness. Maybe this will help: Umami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Umami has a mild but lasting aftertaste that is difficult to describe. It induces salivation and a sensation of furriness on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth.[19][20] By itself, umami is not palatable, but it makes a great variety of foods pleasant especially in the presence of a matching aroma.[21] But like other basic tastes, with the exception of sucrose, umami is pleasant only within a relatively narrow concentration range.[19] The optimum umami taste depends also on the amount of salt, and at the same time, low-salt foods can maintain a satisfactory taste with the appropriate amount of umami.[22] In fact, Roininen et al. showed that ratings on pleasantness, taste intensity and ideal saltiness of low-salt soups were greater when the soup contained umami, whereas low-salt soups without umami were less pleasant.[23] Some population groups, such as the elderly, may benefit from umami taste because their taste and smell sensitivity is impaired by age and medicine. The loss of taste and smell can contribute to poor nutrition, increasing their risk of disease.[24]
It's no more a "fancy name" than salty. It's just Japanese I think it's valuable as a cook to know how to create and balance umami along with sweet, sour, salty and bitter.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:12 PM   #27
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Umami = Savory

Which is different than salty
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:15 PM   #28
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Another way I thought of to look at it is like a sweet and sour sauce. You need to balance the two to have a tasty sauce and either can be overdone and overwhelm the other.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:16 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Dried porcini mushrooms (cepes), ground to a powder in a spice grinder will add a great umami flavor to soups, stews, risotto, etc.
I was lucky to find this at our local supermarket. I use it often!

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Old 02-10-2014, 01:27 PM   #30
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I was lucky to find this at our local supermarket. I use it often!

Kewl!
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