U is for Umami


Nutrition Tip Thursday: U | UMAMI

by Hayley Jacobs, Dietetic Intern

u·ma·mi /o͞oˈmämē/, Noun
A strong meaty taste imparted by glutamate and certain other amino acids: often considered to be one of the basic taste sensations along with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.

Umami is the fifth taste sensation that was discovered by a Japanese chemist named Kikunae Ikeda. This taste was recognized 100 years after salty, sweet, bitter, and sour tastes were discovered. In Japanese, umami roughly translates to “deliciousness”, and is used to describe the savory flavor in foods. 

Foods that carry the umami taste sensation include

  • Steak
  • Seafood
  • Aged cheeses
  • Tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Corn
  • soybeans
  • Many more vegetables

Next time you're out enjoying a food where you just can’t pinpoint what the mysterious flavor is, it's probably umami!