While sweet, salty, bitter, and sour can hit you like a punch, umami—the fifth taste, often described as a round, rich, savory flavor—is the key to achieving a perfectly balanced bite. Umami is the superstar that lifts and amplifies other flavors: It literally makes other things taste better. To really explore what umami is—the history and science behind the taste—and discover its many applications in the kitchen, we talked to some experts and tasted a whole bunch of dishes. Check out our stories and recipes below, and stay tuned for more to come.
To dig into why umami is so craveable, we're going back to the basics. Whether you and umami are old pals or you're just getting know each other, here's everything you've ever wanted to ask. Read the story here »
What’s the best way to put umami to work in your kitchen? Try cooking with these umami-rich vegetables, meats, sauces, and more. Read the story here »
How is it that a seasoning became so controversial? We did some digging to answer a few questions we've had on the topic. Read the story here »
We're all about umami, but never really understood the science or story behind it. So we attended the World Umami Forum, a two-day event featuring presentations from chefs, food writers, and academics, and learned a ton about the fifth taste. Read the story here »
Instead of making the roasted vegetables on your holiday spread heavier with cream, butter, and cheese, make them lighter and brighter with a crunchy topping and perfectly balanced seasonings. Read the story here »
Submissions are open for our latest contest—our most savory one yet. It's all about the fifth taste, umami, that rich savoriness that lingers after you eat something like jammy tomato sauce or a juicy steak. Lucky for you, umami can come from countless places. Think seaweed and miso, cooked meat and aged cheese, anchovies and tomato paste. And if you use more than one umami-rich ingredient? All the better. Enter here, and read about all the details (including a great prize!) below.