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This paper reviews the points behind the more than a hundred-year delay for the acceptance of umami as a basic taste along with the sweet, sour, salty, and bitter tastes after its discovery by a Japanese scientist in 1908. One of the main reasons for the late recognition of umami taste is the difference in culinary culture between Europe and Japan. Recent collaborative studies with chefs and researchers on traditional soup stocks showed different taste profiles for the Japanese soup stock ‘dashi’ and the western-style soup stock. The profile of free amino acids in dashi, when compared to the one in the Western style soup stock, explains why umami has been more easily accepted by Japanese who have being traditionally experiencing the simple umami taste of dashi. The recent exchange on cooking methods and diverse types of umami-rich foods in different countries has facilitated a new approach to culinary science blending culinary arts, food science, and food technology for healthier and tastier solutions.
Ninomiya, K. (2015). Science of umami taste: adaptation to gastronomic culture. Flavour, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/2044-7248-4-13
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