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Umami! The Fifth Taste

When one first thinks of taste: the four tastes (sweet, sour, bitter, and salty) immediately come to mind. However, for most umami does not.

So, what is exactly is umami? Umami, also known as savoriness, was first recognized at the 1985 Umami International Symposium in Hawaii to describe the taste of glutamates and nucleotides and has become widely accepted as the 5th basic taste.

Most people don’t recognize umami but it is key to making food taste delicious. The taste is subtle and blends with other tastes to “expand and round out flavors.” Umami is often described as pleasant “brothy” or “meaty” taste with long lasting, mouthwatering and coating sensation over the tongue. Umami occurs naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products.

If one is ever in Los Angeles, one can try an Umami Burger that caters specifically to this “taste.” Umami Burgers were featured in Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever ate!

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