This week our featured book is Umami: Unlocking the Secrets of the Fifth Taste, by Ole G. Mouritsen and Klavs Styrbæk. In addition to features on our blog, we will also be posting about the book on twitter, and facebook.
We are also offering a FREE copy of Umami to a lucky winner. To enter the contest please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and include your name and address. The winner will be selected Friday, May 23 at 3:00 pm.
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 Styrbæk encapsulate what we know to date about the concept of umami, from ancient times to today.
The following is an excerpt from the book: