Bucketloads of umami…
In 1908 Kikunae Ikeda, a chemist, discovered large amounts of glutamate in the white crystals that form on kombu and realized that the taste was neither bitter, sweet, sour nor salty and named it umami -“deliciousness”
Almost 100 years later scientists in America identified a taste receptor for glutamate on the tongue, just in case there was any doubt that the Japanese discovery was good and proper! After this, the word umami was officially known as the 5th taste and catapulted into the English lexicon.
Two other molecules inosine(present in fish) and guanosine(present to varying degrees in mushrooms) also add to umami perception and thanks to science we know that nature has allowed for synergy between these molecules when combined.
It’s good to know that an intense relationship is waiting to be had amongst fish, mushrooms, seaweed and the infinite combinations these three food groups offer.
Mr Ikeda, we salute you!