Umami, a quality of meaty savoriness that brings depth to many dishes, is widely considered the fifth taste. These 12 umami-enhancing ingredients boost the flavor of whatever we're cooking.
We finally got our hands on a tube, and reached our own verdict. Taste No. 5's day of reckoning, after the break.
Widely available in specialty stores, anchovy paste is a potent, salty paste made from ground anchovy fillets, water or olive oil, vinegar, and sugar to mellow out the ingredient's fish flavor. (It can also be made from scratch by mashing cured anchovies with a drizzle of olive oil until smooth.) Because the paste can have an overwhelming taste and smell, it's best used in small doses. For this reason, it's often sold in multiuse tubes, which, once opened, keep for up to several months.
A touch of anchovy paste can be used to add a savory, umami quality to dishes — one that's not so much briny as it is piquant. Use it to boost stews, soups, and braises, or to perk up tomato sauce or a meat rub. Personally, I love using the ingredient to up the quotient in a Caesar salad dressing. What do you use it for?
Discovered 100 years ago by a Japanese scientist, umami is believed to be a fifth taste sensation. The four basic tastes are sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is considered to be savory. This taste is found in such foods as oysters, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Difficult to recognize, umami is a subtle taste that blends well with other foods to enhance flavor.
A few weekends ago I found myself at the Union Street Festival with Dear, Yum, and Geek. We started off at Umami, a sushi restaurant where Dear is friends with the bartender. As a favor to us, she had him make his specialty: a vodka tangerine mash up. It's an original concoction that he calls a faded crane, but I like calling it a vodka tan mash up. Refreshingly wonderful, this drink isn't too sweet, too sour, or too strong. In fact its only problem is that it goes down a little too easily - so drink carefully when you consume these. I'll definitely be serving them at my next party and you can too. Get the recipe, just read more