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Old 11-09-2009, 10:21 AM   #11
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I use a lot of miso and shiitaki mushrooms and, to a lesser degree, kombu. Nutritional yeast and Marmite or Vegemite would also foot the bill. Usually, anything fermented, like miso or soy sauce (or anchovies/fish sauce) have a lot of umami.

I kind of see umami as the flavor that makes other flavors taste better, if that makes any sense.

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Old 11-09-2009, 11:12 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by mexican mama View Post
Whenever I think of Umami i associate with the Aji No Moto brand...
"aji no moto" = "origin of taste"

I once read an article which implicated mono-sodium compounds in the fuzzy taste sense called umami. I read it with a grain of salt (hehe), but it did occur to me that sodium chloride is a mineral which we all use to "amplify natural flavors."

it's still fuzzy to me...

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Old 11-09-2009, 12:15 PM   #13
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i don't know...it seems like everytime "umami" is mentioned on T.V. it's accompanied by some sort of plug by Kikkoman(sp?)...Seems kinda of like a hoax to me.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:28 PM   #14
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Trust me fire34fighter, it is no hoax. It is a very real thing and Kikkoman is most certainly no behind it. They very well may be taking advantage of the fact the umami is being mentioned more and more recently, but can you blame them? Many of their products exist because of umami.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:40 PM   #15
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In photography there is another Japanese word - "bokeh" that refers to the subjective aesthetic quality of the depth of field blur beyond the primary subject. It is ill-defined but can only be shown as an example to differentiate it from a normal blur.

Umami is the same thing, a subjective aesthetic quality to an enhanced flavor of a natural earthiness or meatiness that can only be appreciated in taste and poorly described by words.
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Old 11-09-2009, 12:46 PM   #16
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The idea that there is a 5th taste has been around for a very long time, but now just getting into the mainstream.

Soy sauce and worcester sauce have long been secret ingredients in many successful restaurant recipes.

As have miso, anchovies and parmesan cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus and other ingredients.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:19 PM   #17
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Im almost there. I get the pea soup ( adding ham or bacon to it ). This makes sense to me ( even though im a vegetarian). I also know that when i make a marinara sauce sometimes, it just has that " empty" taste to it, where it needs that one more thing to pull everything together ( as mentioned parmesan rind or something to that affect could do the trick). What about heavy cream ??? would this add that " umami" sensation ? or am I waaayyy off base here ?? If u say no, then im lost again
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:27 PM   #18
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You're closer with the marinara. If you were to add parmesan cheese or anchovies, that would add a depth of flavor to the tomatoes as opposed to changing the taste of the tomatoes. I think anchovies or fish sauce are great examples, but us vegetarians have options as well. Shiitake mushrooms will add depth to a gravy that lacks animal fat. I use miso & lemon in place of parmesan cheese, and most fermented products (soy sauce, bean paste, etc) work as well. Nori, kombu or other seaweeds also have a strong umami component.

Heavy cream adds a mouth feel associated with fat, not umami. I don't think thats quite on the mark.

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