What is Umami?

By on December 23, 2016
Umami Paste

When we consume food we can usually identify certain flavor profiles.

We know if food tastes salty, sweet, sour or bitter.

There are also dishes that we taste with a flavor that is unidentifiable but know that without it there would be something missing.

That something is now considered the fifth flavor – an added depth and complexity found in a tube with an almost indescribable intensity – Umami.

Umami was first discovered in 1908 by Japanese chemist, Kikunae Ikeda.

He found an unusual combination of ingredients that when blended together, created a savory flavor and building block for proteins.

Later researches at the University of Miami found that through receptors on the tongue that the body actually craves umami and uses it as an indicator of protein in meats and vegetables.

More recently Laura Santtini, a food writer in Italy has been able to capture the flavor and the essence of Umami in a tube saving chefs the many hours of combining and cooking ingredients for that perfect umami taste.

Five star restaurants and home cooks alike can now add that special flavor with just a squeeze of a tube.

Some call it a “magic paste”.

It’s used as a spread or for grilling, roasting, pastas, risottos, vegetables, soups and stews or add to a variety of sauces to create a depth and complexity of taste equal to that of a restaurant quality dish.

We began our tests using the original Taste No. 5 Umami Paste.

In addition to this paste Laura Santtini has added several new flavors such as Far Eastern Umami Paste an umami tomato paste as well as an Umami powder – we will review those items in subsequent posts.

What is Umami?

Taste No. 5 Umami Paste is an Italian puree that combines tomato puree, garlic, anchovy paste, porcini mushrooms, black olives, balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese and olive oil.

The combination may sound a bit unusual but you’ll find that it creates a taste that is second to none.

Our first test was easy.

We added a dash to a homemade pasta sauce and it was delicious.

It really kicked the flavor up a notch.

We also tried it with grilled chicken just for a little change of pace and with added success.

Although we’ve just begun, we know this is a sure-fire winner for the beginner as well as the professional chef.

Where to buy Umami paste

Because Umami paste is not readily available in stores we suggest purchasing it online through our following link. Taste No. 5 Umami Paste.

We believe you will find this the least expensive way to purchase the paste with the best customer service.

BTW when you purchase the paste you also receive several easy to fix recipe ideas so you’ll know exactly what to do with umami and how to use it.

Enjoy, Jules Silver and the Club Sauce team

P.S. Please remember to visit the Club Sauce Store for all your shopping needs from gourmet and specialty cooking items, personal needs or for that special gift.

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About The Saucemaster

I've followed the food show circuit for years, charted the winners, and personally tested the cooking sauces. Though there are literally thousands of items represented at the food shows, I've only selected the top gourmet sauces in their category for your cooking and dining pleasure.

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