“The focus on umami has reached a fever pitch, with chefs looking to ingredients from Asia, like furikake, togarishi, and fish sauce to amp up their dishes. At New York’s Megu, an umami sushi menu is designed to build the umami flavor through a nine-course tasting dinner, while Houston’s Kata Robata regularly hosts collaborative umami-focused dinners. Now, instead of simply building flavors through umami behind-the-scenes, chefs are marketing umami directly to customers.”
Every time I hear Chef Chris Koetke talk about umami, something unexpected comes up in the Q&A. (In Atlanta, it was about the high free glutamate content in breast milk, but that’s a different blog!) Last week, at the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND) meeting, Chef K was asked whether adding a touch of monosodium glutamate, or MSG, would have the same effect as salt when added to beer.
Can one doctor’s letter to the editor spark a multi-decade paranoia and fear about an amino acid we’d already been eating for years? If you bet the farm that it could you’d be right (and rich).
Chicken can be a healthier option than red meat but many people prefer the taste of chicken thighs (vs. chicken breasts). “They are easier to cook, and often less expensive as well,” according to Livestrong.com. Give these char-grilled BBQ chicken thighs a try.
The savory fifth taste known as umami is frequently associated with meat. In fact, the taste itself is often described as “meaty” or sometimes, “brothy.” However, umami does exist in plant-based foods as well. Vegetarian diets can contain plenty of umami. Even those who follow a vegan diet sink their teeth into meals made all the more delicious because of the satisfying, savory taste of umami.