UMAMI: What is it? And how to get it.

Umami is a loanword from Japan that has become a global buzzword in recent years. The accepted definition is ‘a pleasant savory taste’, said to be one of the 5 basic tastes; the others being sweet, sour, bitter and salty. The ingredients in this tube, which I bought in Williams Sonoma ($10), are: tomato paste, garlic, salted anchovy, sunflower seed oil, black olives, balsamic vinegar, Porcini mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, citric acid, olive oil, wine vinegar, sugar, salt.

I think I’ve been creating umami food since long before I ever heard the word. The ingredients are familiar, individually and in combination, to the FOODalogue kitchen so I doubt I’d buy a second tube (though it’s good). Like many other things (flavored salts, sugars, vinegars, oils, etc.), once you know the ingredients, it’s easy to make your own. However, it is convenient to have it all in one tube and I wanted to share the product and also take the mystery out of umami.

More information about this product here.