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.
When you think about summertime and cooking on an outdoor grill, specific foods always come to mind. I will always remember the delicious dinner entrees my mother prepared on a clunky-but-reliable charcoal grill – burgers and chicken, and on special occasions, ribs or steak. (Dad was not good at anything related to cooking!)
Grilling brings out the savory umami taste of meat, producing savory summer dinner entrees that friends and family will enjoy.
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.”
According to Nibble.com, there is a food holiday for almost every day of the year. Maybe because we have to eat every day, why not celebrate the enjoyment of food with a food holiday!
Did you know that today (May 28) is National Hamburger Day? As you meditate about why you love hamburgers (as we do) hopefully you’ll remember Wimpy in the Popeye comic strip series, who had an insatiable appetite for hamburgers. Wimpy was usually shown carrying or eating more than one burger at a time.
When Pablo Picasso said “Everything you can imagine is real,” I’m not sure he was talking about food… especially not referencing the umami-rich maple bacon doughnuts that are finding their way into trendy bake shops, recipe pages in glossy magazines, and online.
When it comes to food, bacon and maple are just the beginning to a world of culinary possibilities. Why not let your imagination blossom? That is what many pastry chefs and bakers around the world are doing as they sing the praises of the savory goodness of umami.