Umami The “Fifth Taste”

Umami is not just a trendy marketed term used to describe mushrooms and soups. Rather, is one of the five elements of taste perception: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami. Kikunae Ikeda is the founder of deliciousness.


Fun Facts:

MSG is actually not bad according to science.

Ikeda was the inventor of the now highly manufactured product MSG -a flavor enhancer. An unfortunate misnomer believed to cause headaches and feelings of malaise. Ikeda’s passion was to find a solution to improve food quality and increase palpability of bland foods.

Chefs use umami to enhance the flavor of many global dishes. 

Although umami is a Japanese term; many chefs, food scientists, and culinary geniuses use this not only to add savoriness to dishes but in fact use this to enhance flavors in low-fat foods.

Umami is new, savory is not. 

Humans have longed craved savory foods. Umami flavor can be found in fish, meat, and vegetables. Ikeda termed this discovery in 1908.

Building blocks of protein. 

Umami is comprised of amino acids which are essential for life.

Next time you see the word umami; think about its origins, its meaning, and its effects on your perception of taste. You too will come to appreciate Ikeda’s lifelong pursuit for flavor deliciousness.