What is Umami?

What is Umami?

Umami first 'discovered' by the Japanese back in 1908 is one of the five basic tastes alongside bitter, sweet, salty, sour.

Years ago when I first left Thermomix and started my own food business I was very much into creating ideas and recipes that were unique and reduced the family intake of food additives to a minimum. (I still do like powdered ranch dressing mix having said that!)

Anyway, a natural progression from all that was the discovery of a umami paste that would enhance anything it was added to. Like a natural MSG if you like, it is high in glutamate rich foods.

Umami has been described as a meaty or savoury taste generally associated with meat or fermented foods. Umami has a mild but lasting aftertaste associated with salivation and a sensation of furriness on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth. By itself, umami is not palatable, but it makes a great variety of foods pleasant, especially in the presence of a matching aroma. Like other basic tastes, umami is pleasant only within a relatively narrow concentration range.

I have found that adding a small block of Umami Paste to most savoury dishes will certainly enhance the depth of flavour and can even act as a saver to a bland dish. It just has that little hit of whatever is missing in your recipes.

To create an umami paste I looked at a list of the glutamate content in common foods then worked out a combo that would probably taste ok together. I have to say I don't like it on it's own but loads of people eat it like a dip!

So get organised and get your glutamate tastebuds tingling naturally with some Umami Paste in your next dish!

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Tenina Holder

Tenina Holder is a wife, mother of five and grandmother of six, who started cooking in the olden days before Thermomix was even a thing.

Tenina has become the premium go to source for all Thermomix expertise and of course fresh and easy recipes that work. Her cooking classes and foodie trips are sold out in literally hours, her cookbooks appear on the Australian best seller lists and her social reach is in the millions. Her Insider Club is the most fun you can have with a Thermomix and you really should join her! She believes chocolate, butter and salt are health foods. Her food positivity mantra is, eat everything, just not all at once!

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