Feature Friday: Discover the Umami

Everybody knows that there are four primary tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. But did you know there is actually a fifth primary taste? It’s called Umami.

Umami is a Japanese word meaning savoury or delicious. It extends the finish of savoury foods, making them linger on the palate longer.
Found in savoury products, such as meat, cheese, broth and sauces, umami is subtle, blends well with other tastes, and expands and round-out flavours.
In other words, Umami enhances the flavours of the foods it is served with making them taste better.

Most people don’t recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays a very important role in making food taste delicious. Mushrooms are full of umami, which is why restaurants serve them on burgers, steaks, and in pasta and salads. Remember how that morsel of steak exploded with flavour when it was served with fresh sautéed mushrooms? Your mouth tingled as you began to enjoy the food, making you say "Mmmmm." That's umami!

So how can you amp up the umami flavour in your everyday meals?
- Pile umami toppings on pizza — tomatoes, pepperoni, mozzarella and fresh mushrooms.
- Add fresh Parmesan shavings to a mushroom and tomato bisque.
- Top a pork tenderloin with a warm mushroom cream sauce.

If you love food (and who doesn't?), be sure to put Umami-rich mushrooms on your weekly shopping list, and discover the Umami for yourself!

posted by Brittany

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