The Fifth Taste

“Those who pay careful attention to their tastebuds will discover in the complex flavour of asparagus, tomatoes, cheese and meat, a common and yet absolutely singular taste which cannot be called sweet, or sour, or salty, or bitter…" -Dr. Kikunae Ikeda, Eighth International Congress of Applied Chemistry, Washington 1912

Do you recognise it? I absolutely put no trust at first for this new discovery. Flavor should be only sweet, sour, bitter, salty, or spicy. I used to think those asparagus, tomatoes, cheese, or meat are either salty or have no taste at all. Never ever this kind of thoughts came across my mind. Furthermore, I am not a cuisine pro who has a strong and sensitive tasting sense. (sometimes I can't even tell you whether the food is sweet or sour) But I am a food fetish, yes, I love to eat. Nyum. So when I found this article I think it would be better if I put more concerns about what I am going to eat.

"When humans eat, they use all of their senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste) to form general judgments about their food, but it is taste that is the most influential in determining how delicious a food is. Conventionally, it has been thought that our sense of taste is comprised of four basic, or ‘primary’, tastes, which cannot be replicated by mixing together any of the other primaries: sweet, sour, salt and bitter. However, it is now known that there is actually a fifth primary taste: umami.

Umami is actually used in various forms all over the world. In Asia, umami is mainly found in beans and grain, fermented seafood-based products, shiitake mushrooms, kombu and dried seafood. In Western cuisine, there are also fermented or cured products derived from meat and dairy products, namely ham and cheese. The most well-known ingredient is the tomato."

Click for larger image.
The most interesting part is Indonesia also has umami food, Tempe & Terasi. I never know that this seem-to-be-faraway taste is actually that near. Oh how delightful I am. :)


  1. wuah, pakar kuliner nih sekarang mengalahkan bondan wiiii (biar ceria kedengarannya)

  2. iya dong modd ayo ayo gue buka warteg nih skrg