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Thursday, April 8, 2010

Umami the Fifth Taste


Umami (pronounced oo-MAH-mee) is a Japanese word for a taste that can't be categorized as one of the four tastes we traditionally recognize: sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. It is often referred to as the "fifth taste," and is usually described as meaty or savory - like the flavor of grilled fish or rich chicken soup.

What distinguishes umami foods from others is glutamate, an amino acid. Studies have shown that we have receptors on the tongue for glutamate and related compounds. In the traditional cuisines of East Asia, glutamate-rich foods such as seaweeds and mushrooms have long been used to add a deep savory flavor to soups and sauces.

If you seek more of this rich, satisfying flavor in your meals, remember that umami can be found in foods such as Parmesan cheese, anchovies, tomatoes, tomato paste, asparagus, mushrooms, and seaweeds. Adding it can be as simple as including some tomatoes or shiitake mushrooms into soups, stocks and sauces, or sprinkling some good Parmesan on your salads or vegetables.


  1. Hi Carl! How are you?? thanks for writing, yes, it was a wonderful surprise having my Mom come visit us! Wow, you're site looks awesome, great information! I want to go wherever your main picture is from! :) Take care!

  2. Hi Jennygirl,
    I am fine here. Jenny thanks so much for visiting me and taking the time to leave a note here. I am glad you like this site..I have 2 more that you might like to check out as well. The links are on the side bar. They are DeProfundis and Ma Promenade..:)
    Isn't the picture awesome! I would like to be there myself. However I will be traveling to the Philippines next month , God Willing.
    It is great to see you back and writing again!
    Take Care as well,

  3. Good article! I love mushrooms & parmesan cheese. hit 40 #s lost today !!!!!! had my first pizza test.I didin't have any! haha. Ate my salad with chicken instead. enjoyed the EBA smell tho'

  4. Interesant este al cinci-lea gust, as putea spune despre ciuperci...Si imi plac mult.
    O zi buna Carl, prietene! Cristos a inviat!

  5. Hi Elena, It is always nice to see you here. This is an intresting concept.
    Always be well Elena

  6. I love all that kind of things, Carl, above all cheese, asparagus and tomatoes :)


  7. HI Maria,
    Its nice to see you here :) I hope all is well with you. I try to read you as often as I can because I enjoy you efforts on all of your blogs. :) These last few weeks I have been so pressed for time I have been unable to read as much as I would like. Always take care,

  8. great blog...the writing is exceptional...hope your time in the Philippines proves to be being in Tennessee any day!