What Does Umami Mean?


What Does Umami Mean? This term refers to the sense of taste and can be found in many different kinds of foods throughout the world. These types of foods are the ones you will find the most pleasure in eating. They are often the ones you try to savor the longest.

What Is Umami?

Umami is a kind of taste that you may not have realized you have. It is often thought of as the fifth taste. The four main senses of taste are sweet, sour, salty and bitter. The fifth, umami is the sense of taste which identifies the richness or savoriness of a food.

Where The Sensory Comes From

When presented with rich or savory foods, your mouth senses a taste in food that goes beyond the main detection of sour, salty, bitter and sweet. The sense of umami is a tasteful sensation that comes from the presence of glutamates and nucleotides. They are often associated with foods that are high in protein such as meats.

Origin Of The Name

The name umami is a Japanese coined name. Often times, in order to add a depth of flavor to umami foods, they are paired with salt. Doing this helps to add a complexity to them that they may be lacking on their own accord. Some examples of foods that are rich in umami flavoring include soy sauce, miso paste, bonito flakes, cured ham, cheese, tomatoes, ketchup and even mushrooms. These foods range from a variety of examples from asian cuisine to examples from Western cuisine.

Foods That Have The Umami Flavor

Umami flavor also plays a part in the kinds of foods we crave. This fifth taste sensory also explains why we pair some foods together. For example, enjoying the savory foods explains why we like to add cheese on top of a salad, or a drop of tomato paste to the base of stew. Or why soy sauce added to a stir-fry makes it taste so much better! These all have one thing in common. They help a meal to be much more satisfying to all of your taste sensors.

Summary: The term umami refers to the fifth taste sensory, the one that allows you to detect when a food is savory or rich in flavor. The word has Japanese origins, and can be found in many different kinds of food, both alone and also in foods that have been paired with salt. Ultimately, umami foods are the ones that are utterly satisfying to enjoy eating.

What are some of your favorite umami foods?

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Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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