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.

Umami, How Could I Live Without You?

Umami flavor

For all of us umami lovers, how could we really live without that umami flavor?  That deep, savory note that sets off gustatory happiness in our brain—it’s something we crave as part of a complete flavor experience. 

But what I just wrote is not completely true.  Experiencing umami flavor is not about a select group of people with heightened tasting abilities or people who are dedicated umami aficionados.  Rather, it is about all of us as human beings. 

Umami Flavor Bombs: The Fifth Taste in Holiday Cooking

umami flavor bombs

The holidays can bring about visions of beautifully decorated dining tables overflowing with scrumptious foods on every corner. Smells of turkey roasting, pies baking and gravy slowly simmering fill our senses with anticipation. Every host wants their holiday meal to be memorable, tantalizing and ultimately full of that flavor. You might call it a flavor bomb. You know the kind of flavor that is savory, maybe salty, mouth-watering or one that possesses all of these characteristics. Chefs or home cooks often call this kind of taste: umami.

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.

Umami and MSG Get Some Love at FNCE

cooking with umami

Only a few days ago, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics celebrated its 100th anniversary Food Nutrition Conference and Exhibition (FNCE) in Chicago, Illinois. Many members of the MSGdish team were there attending sessions, browsing the trade show floor and making new connections in the food world. MSGdish blogger and consultant Chef Chris Koetke was at FNCE too.