Did you know that in addition to sweet, sour, bitter and salty, there is a fifth officially recognized taste?
In 1908, Japanese food chemist, Kikunae Ikeda, gave a name to that irresistible pull, which, as the gastronomic evolution has it, is the most complicated of the five tastes to describe. Umami, as it has been coined, is generally described as meaty, savory and delicious. And yes, delicious is in the actual description. So which of your favorite foods are umami-heavy? Well, beef, cured ham and shellfish are loaded with the fifth taste. But vegetarians and veggie lovers, there is plenty of umami to be experienced by you. Tomatoes, mushrooms, truffles, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and particularly Parmesan cheese all act like little alarm clocks for your taste bud receptors.
So the next time you’re simply unable to stop munching, maybe you shouldn’t go so hard on yourself. Just blame it on the umami.