Umami

I learned something new last week. There is a fifth taste in addition to salty, sweet, bitter and sour: umami! I first thought this was a joke, but I found quite a bit of evidence for it on the Weird World Web. There is even an Umami Information Center for the truly dedicated! Umami roughly seems to translate as ‘good flavour’. It was discovered just over 100 years ago by a Japanese scientist (there even seems to have been an anniversary party in Kyoto last year!) and led to the invention of MSG, the flavour enhancer that we now find in anything from crisps to stock cubes! Some chefs around the world have created an ‘umami cuisine’ that combines naturally umami-rich foods. If you want to have a look which foods are bursting with umami goodness, have a look at this list!

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