Food Unwrapped, the British television documentary series, in its season 6 premiere episode (airing on the 31st of August, 2015) addresses the question: “Are alarming headlines about MSG justified?”
Now that autumn is officially here, thoughts start turning to favorite “cooler weather” foods. One of them, at least in my home, is piping hot homemade soup. It has become our go-to food when nothing else sounds appetizing. Be it homemade chicken noodle, navy bean with ham or a unique vegetable soup, a variety of soups show up on the menu weekly and more often during chilly months.
I usually choose recipes that are rich in umami because they are more satisfying than soups that are not savory in nature. Any recipe that has glutamate-rich – aka umami – ingredients (e.g., meat, cheese, tomatoes, mushrooms) will be a winner at my home. Adding some monosodium glutamate (MSG) in place of salt also makes any hearty soup taste better while reducing the sodium.
We may eat a lot of food additives, but most consumers know very little about them. These often-misunderstood substances go by unwieldy names like “diacetyl” or “azodicarbonamide.” They are in everything from salad dressings to Twinkies. But how many of us actually know what they look like or, more importantly, what they’re doing in our food?
Deep thoughts about umami, the fifth taste, from Tasting Table’s food editor, Andy Baraghani in this recently released video. Baraghani discusses easy ways to incorporate umami into your dishes, including using “good old-fashioned MSG.”
Both Italian and Chinese cuisines are favorites among U.S. restaurant-goers and home cooks, too. Both are highly flavorful, incorporating a range of tastes, textures and aromas, and both boast a wide range of dishes that appeal to people of all ages. There are a number of other things shared by Chinese and Italian cuisines that are less obvious and therefore perhaps lesser known. Here are a couple of culinary commonalities to consider…