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Old 11-07-2009, 10:20 PM   #1
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Umami

Much has been made of this term in the past couple years. Some, including marketers of the Food Network, insist that it is the undiscovered fifth sense of our taste buds and that our science books ought to be rewritten. Some respected chefs say the same.

I understand sweet, salt, sour and bitter. What is umami?

For a discussion starter... the literal Japanese translation is basically "essence which makes delicious."

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Old 11-07-2009, 10:31 PM   #2
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I've seen it roughly translated as 'savory'.

In some context (I forget where, but it will come to me) it was described as the 'meatiness' in beef.
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Old 11-07-2009, 10:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silversage View Post
it was described as the 'meatiness' in beef.
I think that description is right on.
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Old 11-08-2009, 01:34 PM   #4
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This site might be helpful: Umami Information Center
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:59 PM   #5
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check out tonights next iron chef it is going to be all about it.
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Old 11-09-2009, 05:25 AM   #6
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Whenever I think of Umami i associate with the Aji No Moto brand...i think of vetsin that we almost always use in cooking whenever i was in the Philippines.
More Asians use umami in their cooking
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Old 11-09-2009, 07:48 AM   #7
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I understand it, but i still dont get it. Maybe because im vegetarian and dont eat meat or seafood. I saw from the chart that there are vegetables that would give the same sensation too.
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Old 11-09-2009, 08:00 AM   #8
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I understand it, but i still dont get it. Maybe because im vegetarian and dont eat meat or seafood. I saw from the chart that there are vegetables that would give the same sensation too.
Think of an earthy mushroom. It's not sweet, salty, bitter or sour. It's earthy, savory, meaty, umami.
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:03 AM   #9
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I can understand the earthy mushroom analogy, which is why i can understand a shitake mushroom. Im just having trouble applying it to other foods
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:04 AM   #10
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Larry, Parm cheese has a lot of umami. It is that mouth feel that makes you want to smack your lips.

For those that really want to know, buy a small bottle of Accent (MSG) and taste a little straight. You will instantly know what umami is. It is similar to salty, but without being salty. That won't really make any sense until you try it, but once you do you will instantly know what I mean.
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