Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Umami - A to Z Challenge

Umami foodsOK, today I am cheating, umami is not an ingredient but I really couldn’t find one for U. It is, nevertheless, an important word in cooking and eating.The word is made from the Japanese umai (delicious) and mi (taste). This is lifted directly from Wiki. Umami has a mild but lasting aftertaste that is difficult to describe. It induces salivation and a sensation of furriness on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth. By itself, umami is not palatable, but it Umami2makes a great variety of foods pleasant especially in the presence of a matching aroma. But like other basic tastes, with the exception of sucrose, umami is pleasant only within a relatively narrow concentration range. The optimum umami taste depends also on the amount of salt, and at the same time, low-salt foods can maintain a Fifth Tastesatisfactory taste with the appropriate amount of umami. In fact, Roininen et al. showed that ratings on pleasantness, taste intensity and ideal saltiness of low-salt soups were greater when the soup contained umami, whereas low-salt soups without umami were less pleasant. Some population groups, such as the elderly, may benefit from umami taste because their taste and smell sensitivity is impaired by age and medicine. The loss of taste and smell can contribute to poor nutrition, increasing their risk of disease.

Ripe tomatoes being rich in umami so long as salt is used, here is one of my favourite snacks which I have been eating since I was a kid.

Tomato Toast


For each person

1 Slice of bread, toastedTomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp olive oil
Slices of tomato to cover
Salt and pepper

Rub the toast all over with the garlic then spread the olive oil over the toast. Cover with slices of tomato, season to taste and then enjoy.

Have a great day
Jo

41 comments:

  1. I love tomato season when I can eat tomato sandwiches. Mushrooms are great additions to recipes for that umami effect.

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    1. Tomato anything is good in my book Denise. Mushrooms too. I love mushroom omelets.

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  2. I love tomatoes in all their forms, but I always have to salt them. Now that I know they are high in umami, I understand why I do that.

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    1. Yes, the salt does make a difference Diane.

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  3. In the summer I could eat a tomato sandwich every day.
    ~Visiting from AtoZ

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  4. I don't think I'd like the sensation of a furry tongue and throat....that's what happens when I have foot allergies!

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    1. I don't think that's a very good description actually JoJo. I have just eaten some tomato and I sure don't have a sensation of furriness.

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  5. Now there's something I might try but going easy on the salt.

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    1. Not too easy Bob, tomatoes do need it.

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  6. My mom and sisters would eat that when I was growing up.

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    1. My family used to eat it too Stephen, not sure where the recipe came from originally.

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  7. Garlic and tomato! I would eat that.

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  8. Oh my gosh, that tomato toast looks delicious! I have never heard of umami; a very interesting spice!

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    1. It's not a spice Betty It's more something that exists with certain foods and the reaction when eating them.

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  9. I never heard of this but it makes sense especially if one's taste buds are beginning to go. That recipe sounds delicious!

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    1. They say everyone loses some of their sense of taste as they grow older Birgit.

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  10. Hi Jo - I'm interested in this .. so will be back to read properly - when I can concentrate and absorb!! Too much on my plate .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Jo - I still need to check further .. it's a fascinating subject.

      I love tomatoes .. and tomato toast is always a good lunch brunch .. I saw a recipe for tomato tart recently and would love to have some - but cooking for one isn't on the cards as such ... one day I shall make a plan .. these things sit and cogitate in my brain .. cheers Hilary

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    2. It is particularly relevant if you have lost your sense of smell, it allows a person to enjoy more food than would be otherwise.

      I have a recipe for a tomato tart which I haven't made for a while. Normally make it for guests.

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  11. Sounds tasty! I must try that. Thanks

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    1. It is, I have been snacking on it for years

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  12. Umami sounds like MSG which I am sensitive to. I've nearly fainted three times after eating in Asian restaurants and it took me ages to connect the dots.

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    1. First hubby was allergic to MSG too. Umami is not something you add to anything Pinky. It is just present in certain foods, like tomatoes, and with the addition of salt it presents an increased taste. You can't go buy umami or anything. It's in olives and cheese and mushrooms for instance.

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  13. I'm sure "Umami" would have been used for tons of jokes growing up in Dublin... especially considering mothers were normally known as "your Mammy!"

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    1. Trust you to think of that Mork.

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  14. Greetings human, Jo,

    Nice one and good for U, Mami :) My human hates tomatoes. Never mind, eh.

    Arf!

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny :)

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    1. Hi Penny. Tell your human he doesn't know what he is missing. There are in fact many foods which provide umami, tomatoes just happen to be one of the best examples.

      Pawsitive wishes to you and your human. I do hope he gets better soon.

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  15. I love to eat Tomato sandwiches so I am sure I'd love tomato toast.

    Also tried to email you, but it didn't work. I figure out the problem and I don't know what happened. But ti was Elemental that was wrong. I just updated the file it usually takes about 12 hours. So I guess you have read Ashes now, not Elemental. I am still trying to figure out what happened.

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    1. I think so too Brandon.

      My email is Prideth @ rogers.com (no spaces of course) The story I read started with her working in the antique business. I thought it sounded as though there was something before. I guess that's the reason. The book was about breaking the power of Gerald. Was that Ashes?

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    2. It was. :( I hate that. it means that anyone who bought the book during the sale got Ashes twice. I contacted Amazon and am trying to see if they can send out an email to tell people to update when the file goes live.

      Sigh, the life of an indie author, lol.

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  16. The tomato toast sounds delicious! It's also probably something that I won't be able to ruin.

    Julie

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    1. I guess you mean you are no cook Julie. My husband always maintains anyone can cook if you have a recipe book. I don't think that's true.

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