A recent article in The Daily Meal, written by editor Dan Myers, clearly explains why MSG (monosodium glutamate), the popular flavor enhancer, gets “one heck of a bad rap.”

The article explains: “First of all, what exactly is monosodium glutamate (also called just sodium glutamate)? As a commercial product, it’s a white powder that looks similar to salt, and that is very popular in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese cuisine. It doesn’t have an especially pleasing flavor on its own, but when added in the right quantity to various foods it lends them a rich, savory element, and balances and rounds off the flavors that are present, giving everything an umami-like kick.”

“So while MSG may get a bad rap, it’s simply a product that amplifies flavors that already exist in food, sending the same chemical messages to your brain that all-natural food would. In many ways, it’s just like salt: It’s already present in food, but adding some during the cooking process makes food taste better. Adding a sprinkle of MSG to your cooking is the same thing as adding fish sauce or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano: It boosts the umami factor.”

“Read on to learn 10 facts about MSG, and the next time someone tells you that they don’t eat MSG because they think it will make them sick, remind them that it’s a naturally occurring flavor enhancer found in thousands of foods.”

Full article: www.thedailymeal.com/eat/10-things-you-didn-t-know-about-msg-slideshow