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Umami: the fifth basic taste

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To further introduce the umami experience to the Ilonggos, Ajinomoto held an Umami Culinary Challenge-Visayas which comprised of culinary competitions, a cooking class, and umami conversations.
The four most common basic tastes are sweet, sour, salty and bitter. But there is a fifth basic taste and this is the secret to why certain food stand out in terms of taste. It is called umami.
Our brain has cells that respond preferentially to the umami taste, thanks to the presence of glutamate receptors within the tongue’s taste cells.



According to the Umami Information Center, umami is a “pleasant savoury taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, and ribonucleotides, including inosinate and guanylate, which occur naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products.”
Umami has long been there but it was only in 1908 that it was discovered by a Japanese professor, Kikune Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University. He experimented with broth from dried seaweed and disc…