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Umami, the 5th taste

japan-crate japancrate-culture


Why do these BBQ chips taste so good?


It might surprise you to learn there is a scientific reason why it's so hard to eat just one chip. Because certain savory foods contain high levels of glutamate, our bodies associate them with protein and crave them for energy.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 2.57.24 PM Umami wasn't officially accepted as the "5th taste" until 2002!    

Umami is a Japanese word that can be translated as "yummy" or "delicious." The flavor is called "umami" (instead of savory) around the world to honor the Japanese chemist, Kikunae Ikeda, who first discovered glutamate.




Most foods can be categorized as one of the five tastes (salty, sweet, sour, bitter, or umami) or a combination thereof. However, there are some Japanese and Western foods that have been found to be "the most" umami.


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You can find a few oishii umami treats in the August crate including:


Tom Yum Pretz

Tom yum is a delicious Thai and Lao soup that has gained worldwide popularity. It is made with umami elements including fish sauce, prawns, and mushrooms.



Soy Sauce Pretz

Soy sauce is one of the most well-known Japanese umami-rich foods.  It's flavor perfectly compliments food from sushi to karage to tonkatsu. In fact, most dishes can be enhanced by adding a dash of soy sauce.    

BBQ Scones

Meat of all kinds is considered umami-rich. Add sweet BBQ sauce (often made with umami-rich tomatoes) and you get an irresistibly savory snack.    

Yum yum! What is your favorite umami dish? Or do you crave sweet over savory?


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