Umami - the fifth flavour that is yours to buy

10 February 2010

article-0-08352F65000005DC-422_233x498 ‘Umami – a taste tsunami.’ That’s the phrase that we’d be daubing all over the office white board if we were a bunch of advertising creatives. But we’re not so instead we’re spending our time wondering just what unami would taste like if we could get our hands on some. The wait shouldn’t be too long – umami is coming to the high streets soon!

We should probably tell you what it is now. Get this – it’s the ‘fifth taste’ following sweet, sour, bitter and salty and is a 102-year-old Japanese creation, said to be the secret ingredient that will make anything taste fantastic, and a big favourite of Michelin-starred chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Augustus St. Christmas.

It was pioneered by the scientist who went on to conjour up monosodium glutamate and Waitrose will be banging the stuff out soon for £2.99 a tube. Food writer Laura Santtini, has developed the tubes of the puréed umami and said: “I wanted to get away from the notion that umami is something of interest to scientists that no one else can really understand.”

“The truth is that umami should be of interest to anyone who has a tongue. Umami is part of our everyday eating lives, it is just that many of us don't know what to call it. It is what gives depth of flavour to food.”

We can’t wait to get our hands on some and smear it all over a Greggs’ steak bake. Sounds like a culinary gang bang.

TOPICS:   Supermarket


  • ElBuc
    I've tried this and it tastes just like jizz. I mean, what I imagine jizz to taste like.
  • Feezy
    Unami or Umami? Loving the spellchecking
  • Joff
    I've always known it as umami and assumed it was the taste sensation you get from Marmite, soy sauce, mushroom sauce, etc.
  • Alex
    Bitterwallet subediting strikes again! It's umami, and what they're selling is basically MSG paste which has been around for decades.
  • mascherano
    what a non-story, MSG has been available forever in chinese supermarkets. as mentioned about its umami you morons
  • Fella-Tio
    WTF is it? never heard of it...sounds shit tbh
  • Sum G.
    Surely you mean 'umami', the rough approximation of 'savory' tastes like Joff mentions above? I wouldn't buy this as MSG give me a headache....
  • Mr G.
    Stephen Fry said it was Umami on QI, so that is clearly the correct spelling. Stephen Fry is never wrong.
  • ElBuc
    I hear Stephen Fry is very familiar with the taste.
  • Yun F.
    You Engrish say velly borrocks about umami, evelybody knows this taste for real! I go now read Manga. x
  • Andy D.
  • The B.
    Yo mamma.
  • -]
    Umami is NOT MSG. The Umami 'taste' is due to high levels of glutamates, but glutamates doesn't equal MSG. The flavour you get from soya sauce or kombu is umami. Hippies have been banging on about it for years (as they do), but I wouldn't like to see the ingredient list in this "Taste No. 5" shat. "Umami was discovered 102 years ago by a Japanese scientist but until now has only graced the shelves of Michelin-starred restaurants." lol - michelin-starred restaurants and the kitchens of millions of ordinary people the world over.
  • spampen
    Koreans boil up a specific dried seaweed to produce a clear broth, which is then used as the basis of all other stocks. It is for the same reason, the seaweed contaimes the glutamates that MSG artificially reproduces. Oh only the Koreans dont invade the rest of Asia and enslave their women until bombed into submission and then play the long game by selling you cars with faulty brakes and accelerators. Their cars come with 10 year guarantees
  • Sally
    I've got it right in front of me. No preservatives, no additives, no chemicals, no msg Tomato purée Garlic Anchovy Paste (anchovies, salt, sunflower oil) Black Olive Balsamic Vinegar Porcini mushrooms Parmesan cheese Olive oil Vinegar Sugar Salt I'd be a bit worried El Buc if your gizz tastes of anchovies, tomatoes and cheese.

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