Typically when we think of taste we do not realize the impact of umami. Many do not even know what umami taste is or that there exists a selection of food referred to as umami taste cuisine. Umami is a Blended taste more commonly referred to as being savory. Typically when we learned about food we were only exposed to sweet, salty, sour and bitter. However there are certain foods that do not clearly belong to any one of these unique groups. It is really the savory taste of chicken, seafood, and certain dairy products that scientists are now utilizing umami taste as a descriptive mechanism for savory. While this seems as if it is a new concept for us to understand in terms of umami taste cuisine, it has in fact been part of our culture for centuries. There are many different recipes regardless of the cultural influence that are heavily impacted by umami. Things like fish sauce and soy sauce are typically filled with glutamate. Glutamate is actually an abundant source of umami.
Scientists have been debating whether or not this type of flavor was indeed a classified taste ever since its existence was proposed in 1908. In 1985 it was officially recognized as a scientific term to generally describe the taste of glutamateís and nucleotides. Today we simply refer to it as the fifth basic taste. Surprisingly enough, umami the word has no direct translation. Some claim that the word is derived out of the word umai that means delicious and Japanese. We do know it by its mouth filling and satisfying flavor that accompanies rich meat dishes and savory sauces. Many have even commented that shiitake mushrooms have been able to confirm the presence of this flavor when being eaten. Umami taste cuisine Centers around those foods that can elicit a taste response that is similar to how umami is currently described. While many other taste sensations can be paired with a number of different types of cuisine, this sensation is typically only pleasant within a relatively narrow concentration range. Umami taste cuisine is heavily impacted by the level of salt utilized in the preparation of the dish. Salt has a profound impact on the intensity of the flavor and the taste can be greatly influenced by simply adjusting the levels included in the dish.
While extensive scientific research has been able to prove that there are receptor cells present in our tong that are highly sensitive to foods that contain high levels of glutamate, we do need to be sensitive to the level of manufactured glutamate that we consume. This is typically why restaurants no longer try to enhance their flavor options by adding monosodium glutamate. Cooks who are skilled in preparing dishes to trigger the sensation can effectively reduce the amount of salt contained in food without sacrificing the wonderful flavor. One of the best ways to enhance the umami taste in your food is to prepare your meals through curing and slow cooking. By doing so the process will effectively release the free glutamate within the food and enhance its umami taste.