U is for Umami

Raise your hand if you have heard of umami?  Ummm, not very many of you…don’t feel bad, I’d never heard of it either.  I got the word from  Ben who gave this Prompt on the daily post:

You have to choose one flavor that your sense of taste will no longer be able to distinguish. Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, spicy (not a taste per se, but we’re generous): which one do you choose to lose?

Thank you, Ben, for giving me my word for the letter U in my alphabet challenge.  I was stuck with umbrella, which is not very exciting (very dull in fact, though I couldn’t live without one of those either.) Umami on the other hand exudes has a certain richness.  A sweet savory thought (taste) I have been yearning for…a ‘unique’ ingredient for my soup.

I did not understand this new word (which is going to come in handy some day in a Scrabble game; u is one of my least favorite letters unless I have a Q) so I Googled it and wasted, er spent a half hour or so reading about it. Its been around for a long time. It can be found in  breast milk, and people have been craving it since Abel got his first taste.  Uh oh, I didn’t mean craving breast milk–but the taste of umami.

Scientific notations do not make for easy reading, so I will not bore you with all the research behind this.  But just tell you it was first noted (1908) by the Japanese man who gave it the name.  I’m going to leave all that a bit of a mystery.  If you like all that background stuff you can click umami, and have yourself a rare treat.  For me it was a lot to digest…so I will get on owner to answering the original question.

The Jittery Goat wrote a very humorous take on this prompt without ever having answered the question per se, so maybe I could get away without answering the question, also.

Hey, now that I just discovered this new taste, umami, why would I want to give it up.  And I could never give up spicy,  (how could I do my blog without a bit of spice?) Sweet just makes my day and I also like a little bitter to complement the sweet.  Actually I really just like complements, so please leave me some.  And salt?  my doctor advises me to lay off salt.  So I could really do without salt.  Here I am going to get on my soapbox for just a moment.  Please allow me…If you can go without overly salted food for a while, food really does taste just as good…especially seasoned with a little umami.

Please leave your savory or spicy comment for me to munch on. If you want to drop in a complement, it will fill in the sweet for the day.







4 thoughts on “U is for Umami

  1. Hmm, Umami. Honestly, I too have never heard of this before. Makes me sad that all the while I was missing a whole spectrum of taste. I’m not sure whether my taste buds are aware of the existence of Umami to pick on when needed. Made a good read.

Got something to season my kettle of soup? Stir it in and savor the flavor.

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