Chefs Explain Umami, That Fifth Taste We Can’t Get Enough Of

Monosodium Glutamate - Successful in Savory Recipes

Twenty-five years ago, a television channel dedicated solely to food came into our homes. Yes, I’m talking about the Food Network. At the time, the concept of watching culinary experts (24/7 no less) sharing their skills and knowledge — live and via video — was novel. Up until then, resources were limited to reading about the culinary world or practicing food preparation methods first-hand.

Now, however, we take for granted that we can learn about food and cooking by watching and listening to television/radio shows and online videos. Content ranges from food trends, culinary techniques and new ingredients to competitions between seasoned chefs (as well as contests between novices and professionals). All it takes to learn more about food is as simple as turning on our TVs or by tapping a button on our computers, tablets or smart phones.

Indeed, discussions about food have permeated our lives, whether we like it or not. “Food talk” is now inescapable in our society. For example, until we had these television shows, online videos and websites, who had heard much about umami taste, which has been taking the culinary world by storm for the past decade?

Savory Party Foods for Award Show Viewing

Cinephiles love this time of year; it’s awards season! It’s the period from December to early March when a majority of the entertainment industry gives recognition to one another and occasionally allows viewers to participate by voting. There’s something great about watching my favorite celebrities get dressed up in elaborate outfits, cry and laugh while accepting well-deserved awards and giving incredible speeches.

For those of us who are into film, fashion and food, the best part about awards season are the viewing parties. We discuss outfit choices, our favorite categories and nominees, cheer on winners and… eat!

The Reasoning Behind the Seasoning: Why Seasoning Food Properly Makes It Taste Better

seasoning food

Sometimes we taste a food or meal and think, “Hmm, this needs something. Right?! Seasoning properly is the downfall of most cooks; seasoning food properly makes all the difference in taste,” according to Jame P. DeWan, who teaches culinary arts at Kendall College in Chicago.

“Most people don’t know how to make food taste its very best. And a lot of it comes down to how the food is seasoned,” he explains.

Holiday Leftovers: Some Reasoning for the Seasoning

holiday leftovers

In a recent blog, we talked about some of the senses that are associated with favorite holiday foods: The smell of cinnamon and homemade pumpkin pie baking in the oven. Freshly baked yeast rolls teasing our senses. The savory aroma of honey-glazed ham or a roasted turkey, wafting through the house. And these vibrant scents of much-loved foods are surpassed by how delicious these foods taste.

But what about the leftovers, which are often an integral part of the holidays? In our house, the holiday leftovers are almost as important as the main meal itself. In fact, several family members like leftovers the best.

Here’s a clue as to why leftovers are often preferred.

Giving Thanks for Umami: Recipes for Savory Foods at Thanksgiving

savory foods with umami

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Can you believe it? Reconnecting with and enjoying favorite foods, family and friends is the mainstay of this holiday.

Here at MSGdish, we’re mostly about the food and have blogged in the past about the Thanksgiving meal. Included in these blogs are ways to make family-favorite recipes even more delicious. In particular, we have written about traditional Thanksgiving recipes that fall into the savory foods category (i.e., not “sweet”) These foods are considered “savory” in part due to the glutamate content of the ingredients. To us and the culinary world, savory equals “umami.” Thus, it is natural to be writing about “umami” flavor. All of us at MSGdish just can’t help ourselves!

This Thanksgiving, if you are looking for simple ways to “boost the umami” in your Thanksgiving recipes, here are a handful of suggestions.