CULTURE: UMAMI, the fifth flavor

Umami comes from the Japanese language and means 'nice taste, tasty'

Humans are able to recognize five different flavors, which are salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami. This last taste, is the most difficult to describe, is virtually unknown by many people.

It all goes back to Japan in 1908 when the chemist Kikunae Ikeda asked himself a question, "What about the foods that, when they taste them, do not seem to enter into any classification like salty or sweet etc? Ikeada was able to synthesize the MSG from kombu algae. This is used as a flavor enhancer, both in its synthesized version in the form of elongated crystals, and in the ingredients in which it is very present as for example in soy sauce and fish sauce.

Umami is the taste of mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, tomatoes, seafood, among other foods, when a food has umami flavor, then it has the presence of glutamate, it is one of the 20 amino acids that are part of proteins in addition of various amino acids that are good for the human body.

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