In the West, we have identified only four basic tastes-sour, sweet, salty, and bitter-that, through skillful combination and technique, create delicious foods. Yet in many parts of East Asia over the past century, an additional flavor has entered the culinary lexicon: umami, a fifth taste impression that is savory, complex, and wholly distinct.Combining culinary history with recent research into the chemistry, preparation, nutrition, and culture of food, Mouritsen and StyrbA|k encapsulate what we kw to date about the concept of umami, from ancient times to today. Umami can be found in soup stocks, meat dishes, air-dried ham, shellfish, aged cheeses, mushrooms, and ripe tomatoes, and it can enhance other taste substances to produce a transformative gustatory experience. Researchers have also discovered which substances in foodstuffs bring out umami, a breakthrough that allows any casual cook to prepare delicious and more nutritious meals with less fat, salt, and sugar. The implications of harnessing umami are both sensuous and social, enabling us to become more intimate with the subtleties of human taste while making better food choices for ourselves and our families. This volume, the product of an ongoing collaboration between a chef and a scientist, won the Danish national Mad+Medier-Prisen (Food and Media Award) in the category of academic food communication.
Ole G. Mouritsen is a distinguished scientist and professor of biophysics at the University of Southern Denmark. His books include Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body, and the Soul and Seaweeds: Edible, Available, and Sustainable.Klavs StyrbA|k is a chef who, for more than twenty years, has owned and run the highly regarded Restaurant KvA|gtorvet (The Cattle Market) in Odense, Denmark. He is a passionate advocate for the renewal of classical Danish cuisine.Mariela Johansen has Danish roots, lives in Canada, and holds an MA in humanities.Jonas Drotner Mouritsen is a graphic designer and owns the design company Chromascope (www.chromascope.com). His movie projects have won several international awards.
Klavs Styrbaek, Ole G. Mouritsen
Columbia University Press
Date of Publication
Social Sciences: Textbooks & Study Guides
Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History