Umami – from the Japanese meaning “pleasant savory taste”, and popularly referred to as savoriness, is one of the five basic tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.
Umami is most notably found in fish, shellfish, cured meats, vegetables (e.g., mushrooms, ripe tomatoes, Chinese cabbage, spinach, celery, etc.) or green tea, and fermented and aged products like cheeses, shrimp pastes, soy sauce, etc.
Anchovies are another popular umami food. In fact, they’re often added to Italian red sauces as a “secret ingredient” to sharpen the other flavors in the dish. You’ve probably had them more than once like this and didn’t even know it, as there’s typically no detectable anchovy or “fishy” flavor in the finished sauce.
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Humans’ first encounter with umami is often breast milk. It contains roughly the same amount of umami as broth.
Favorite Recipe: Filet Mignon with Umami Merlot Sauce