Today's word of the day from Webster is something that any food lover should know -
umami \oo-MAH-mee\ noun
: a taste sensation that is meaty or savory and is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides (as glutamate and aspartate)
"Vegetarian dishes are usually difficult to meld with big red wines unless the dish includes umami, from ingredients such as intensely flavored mushrooms…." (The San Francisco Chronicle, August 22, 2008)
Did you know?
A Japanese scientist was the first to discover the savory taste of the amino acid glutamic acid, which was found to occur in soup stocks made with seaweed. This fifth basic taste -- alongside sweet, sour, salty, and bitter -- was named "umami," meaning "savoriness" in Japanese. Umami can be experienced in foods such as mushrooms, anchovies, and mature cheeses, as well as in foods enhanced with monosodium glutamate, or MSG, a sodium salt derived from glutamic acid.