Monday, January 05, 2009

Delicious Essence

In order to make a purposed break from the introspection which has resulted in a bit of negativity as of late, I bring to you something completely interesting. Pointless, but still, I think interesting.

Found out there is a new taste sensation in town. Don't think I learned about this in school when regurgitating factoids about the tongue and its various bud areas. So, check this out:

In addition to sweet, salty and bitter, our tongues are capable of detecting a fifth taste known as umami. First identified by a Tokyo professor, umami (loosely translated as "delicious essence "is often described as a savory or meaty taste. These foods are rich umami:

Aged cheeses such as Parmigiano-Reggiano
Vine-ripened tomatoes
Mushrooms, particularly portobellos, shittakes, porcini
Cured pork such as prosciutto
Smoked or cured fish
Asian fish sauce
soy sauce and miso

I find this list of gastronomical favors intriguing. On one hand, I find immeasurable delight in a fresh from the summer garden tomato and mayo sandwich. But, clearly find anything related to seafood despicable. Wish I loved creatures from the sea, but I just don't. Love the prosciutto and dig some good aged cheese. The latter is an awesome way to use cheese, yet, cut down on the calories when cooking.

I'll throw out a question for the day. You can answer in your mind, pondering it for the day. Or, you can feel free to write your answer in the comments section.

What one particular food do you like to savor in all of its "delicious essence"? Oh, and remember that word, umami, as it looks like a great one for scrabble, crosswords, or the like.

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