To help determine if you might be an umami novice or a seasoned Umami Master, here is a short quiz to test your knowledge of all things umami.
There are bona fide experts throughout the culinary world who achieved knowledge and skills in their profession after intensive training (and even certification). For example, a sommelier is a highly trained and knowledgeable wine professional who specializes in all facets of wine service as well as wine and food pairing.
However, there are also those of us who simply love wine and possess a significant amount of knowledge about it. A wine lover with no formal training is known as an “oenophile.” I’m sure you will agree there are many more oenophiles in the world than there are sommeliers.
Similar to oenophiles, many of us profess to be experts on umami, so we are going to playfully coin the term “Umami Master” — a person who is very knowledgeable about umami facts, can identify the savory taste of umami, and thoroughly enjoys this savory fifth taste in foods.
Don’t read this part until after you finish the Umami quiz!:
Details on the answers:
- ooh (rhymes with true)-mah-me! — have a listen: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/pronunciation/english/umami
- the early 1900’s (1908 – 112 years ago, to be exact!)
- sweet, sour, salty, and bitter
- glutamate (the amino acid is called glutamic acid, one of the most abundant amino acids in nature and an important component of protein); the glutamate from MSG seasoning to enhance the flavor of food and the glutamate occurring naturally in food is exactly the same, and the body treats glutamate in the same way no matter what its source.
- cured ham (337 mg/100g of glutamate), although tomatoes are also high (246 mg/100g); learn more about glutamate-rich foods
- true, which is why MSG is often referred to as “umami seasoning”
- false – not just beef, but any foods that are rich in glutamate content have savory deliciousness
- yes, because MSG has two-thirds less sodium than table salt
- you nailed it – all the above!