Farmers Market Minute | Umami

Mar 31, 2012

Are you familiar with the fifth element on the culinary spectrum, umami? Scientists have debated whether the four taste groups adequately cover it: sweet, sour, bitter and salty.

In 1985, an international symposium recognized that umami (a Japanese term meaning pleasant savory taste) actually exists. They even located the amino acid. You find it in meat stock and strong cheeses. Can you identify this flavor memory? Well, the other week I watched a father and son purchase a fresh tomato, slice it, and eat it out at market together with cheese curds. I overheard them struggle to find words that describe the flavors. Now that’s umami! Thus, it’s important that the next generation recognize this umami in order to savor the healthy flavors that reside somewhere between soft drinks and French Fries.

For the WWNO Farmers Market Minute, this is Richard McCarthy.