Umami - The 5th Taste Sensation










Taste is our ability to detect flavour in food, the four basic sensations being: sweet, sour, salt and bitter. though first described in 1908, umami, the Japanese loanword for savoriness has only gained recent attention as our fifth basic taste, but anyone who cooks will already be aware of this important element. This is the taste which adds roundness and savoury depth to a finished dish...that flavour which we often search for. It tasted delicious but there is 'something' missing...











I was intreigued by a recent magazine advertisment which featured a new flavouring product, claiming to hold this unami flavour element. Laura Santini, who's family's restaurant 'Santini' in London's Belgravia and turns 25 this year, has recently launched Taste No5 Umami Paste, describing itself as "the ultimate scratch cooking tool to enhance any savoury dish".



The pleasure in a new food discovery is to take it into the kitchen and experiment with a range of cooking styles and flavour combinations. With an intense flavour, only small amounts of Taste No5 Unami Paste are required so the tube does last. After opening it remains fresh for up to 30 days in the fridge, but I discovered that once I began adding it to dishes, I just kept on going – it certainly does add that mmmm... factor to meals. Add towards the end of cooking, along with seasonings where it 'lifts' flavour. Do remeber to be frugal though, it is always easy to add extra yet way more difficult to reduce! Weekday meals such as lasagne, bolognase sauce, soups and stews all benifited but, Taste No5 is an equally delicious component in marinades and rubs for meat and fish.

Using Taste No5 I have created two very different recipes to share with you, giving an idea of how it does transform taste and flavour: a warming yet light Carrot & Celery Soup and a fresh, tasty rub, transforming an economical cut of pork into delicious family treat or an elegant midweek supper with friends.



Currently, Taste No5 Unami Paste is only available from Selfridges in London, but from mid-February will be available from their online shopping service plus Waitrose supermarket branches. Do speak to your local supermarket manager to urge their branch to stock it too – they certainly won't regret it!





  • Pinterest