Word of the Day : November 9, 2015

umami

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noun oo-MAH-mee

Definition

: a taste sensation that is meaty or savory and is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides (such as glutamate and aspartate)

Did You Know?

Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda is credited with identifying as a distinct taste the savory flavor of the amino acid glutamic acid, which he first noticed in soup stocks made with seaweed. This fifth basic taste—alongside sweet, sour, salty, and bitter—was named umami, meaning "savoriness" in Japanese. Umami can be experienced in foods such as mushrooms, anchovies, and mature cheeses, as well as in foods enhanced with monosodium glutamate, or MSG, a sodium salt derived from glutamic acid.


Examples

The cookbook has an entire chapter on umami, and lists a number of common ingredients—from tomato paste to Worcestershire sauce to anchovies—as easy ways to add it to dishes.

"Adding even more umami to this dish is the nutritional yeast…. It adds a wonderful aged-cheese-like flavor.…" — Melissa d'Arabian, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 26 Sept. 2015



Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to create an adjective that means "flavorful": s _ p _ d.

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