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Umami Taste

发表于 2-5-2020 16:33:28 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Elizabeth G Dunn, Have We Reached Peak Umami?  What began as an obscure scientific concept and later became a chef's obsession has taken hold of the popular imagination. Now a ore balanced approach is replacing umami bombs with newly nuanced recipes.
Wall Street Journal, Feb 1, 2020 (in the Saturday's Off Duty section).
https://www.wsj.com/articles/fro ... e-umami-11580396688

(a) Most of the panels that go with the article:

"1908  Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda identifies umami as a fifth taste. In 1898, Dr Ikeda's ajinomoto begins producing umami-rch MSG as a flavor enhancer.

"1930s  Campbell Soup Co and other US food companies embrace NSG. It becomes a common source of savory in bouillon  cubes, sauces, snacks and fast food.

"1968  A letter in the New England of Medicine posits that MSG in Chinese food causes numbness, palpitations and weakness. With no basis in science, an MSG scare ensues.

"2000  Researchers at the University of Miami discover the tongue has special receptors for glutamate, lending credence to the concept of umami as a fifth basic taste.

(b) paragraph 1: "SHORTLY after Momofuku Ssäm Bar opened in New York City, in 2006, the chef David Chang began serving a dish there called bo ssäm. The classic Korean recipe calls for boiled pork belly with cabbage leaves and condiments, but in typical Chang fashion, he dialed the flavor up to 11. The Momofuku version starred a pork butt cured overnight and then slow-roasted with a coating of brown sugar and salt that formed a crust the color of mahogany. Diners wrapped ribbons of that roast pork in lettuce along with briny oysters, rice, kimchi, ginger-scallion sauce and ssamjangÊ, a spicy Korean dipping sauce. Word of the off-the-menu rippled sensationally through the local dining scene.

(i) The author is freelance and lives in Harlem (she is white), according to her website.
(ii) The article is locked paywall. There is no need to read it, though.
(iii) Peak Umami in the title is modeled after peak oil.
(iv) Paragraph 1 explains "a chef's obsession" in the subtitle.

(b) Kikunae IKEDA  池田 菊苗
(1864 – 1936)
(i) The "katsuobushi" and "味の素" mentioned in this Wiki page are defined in (c).
(ii) Born to a samurai named 池田春苗. Got his BS (1885) and then went to graduate school for 4 years (until 1889; University of Tokyo’s Web page about him does not say whether he was conferred a degree) in chemistry from Tokyo Imperial University.  
(iii) The five tastes in Japanese are: 甘味 (sweet taste; pronounced kanmi), 酸味 (sanmi), 塩味、苦味 (nigami) and 旨味 (umami).

(c) Jim Breen online Japanese dictionary:
* uma 旨 (n): "deliciousness"
* katsuo-bushi 鰹節 【かつおぶし】 (n): " {food} dried bonito" (katsuo = 鰹; fushi = 節 (knuckle), f softens to b; both Japanese pronunciations.)
* 味の素 (The "aji" is Japanese pronunciation of kanji 味. Even in China/Chinese, 素 and 本 are slightly different.)
   ^ moto 元(P); 本(P); 素; 基 【もと】 (n): "(1) (usu. 元) origin; source; (2) (esp. 基) base; basis; foundation; root; (3) (also 因, 原) cause; (4) (esp. 素) ingredient; material; * * *"

(i) The 2000 paper on discovery of glutamate receptor:
Chaudhari N et al, A Metabotropic Glutamate Receptor Variant Functions as a Taste Receptor. Nature Neuroscience, 3: 113 (2000).
(ii) It is known by now that sweet, bitter and umami tastes are each conducted by several so-called "G-protein coupled receptor." If you are not a biologist, you need not know what the term means.
(iii) Vandenbeuch A and Kinnamon SC, Glutamate: Tastant and Neuromodulator in Taste Buds. Advances in Nutrition, 7: 823S (S = supplement)


"Glutamate occurs naturally in many foods and is often present at high concentrations, as in aged cheeses, seafood, and some vegetables. Although umami does not have a pleasant taste by itself, it increases the palatability and acceptance of many foods and hence increases food intake/" ((footnotes omitted).  (This is a free amino acid, not incorporated in protein. Otherwise, it is hard to explain, because saliva does not have powerful enzymes and time to digest protein for humans to taste glutamate.)

"In summary, multiple receptors appear to be involved in the detection of glutamate as a taste stimulus. These include the heterodimer T1R1-T1R3, as well as both truncated and brain forms of mGluR4 and mGluR1.

(A) T1R1 refers to a single G-protein coupled receptor, called tate receptor type 1, member 1, whereas T1R3, taste receptor type 1, member 3.  Alone by itself, T1R3 is a receptor for sweetness; but when combined with T1R1 to form a dimer, the combination tastes glutamate.
(B) Taste receptor type 1 (with three members) is about tasting sweet. Taste receptor type 2 (including more than 60 memberis about tasting bitter.
(C) The glutamate receptor Chaudhari N et al (see (d)(i) ) is now known as mGluR4, which stands for metabotropic glutamate receptor 4.

(e) paragraph 1:
(i) David Chang is Korean American chef and restaurant owner based in New York City.
(ii) Named after Momofuku AND  安藤 百福
(born 吳百福, a Japanese citizen to Taiwanese parents in Japanese colony of Taiwan)
, Momofuku is name of his first restaurants. (The "momo" is Japanese pronunciation of kanji 百, whereas "fuku", Chinese pronunciation of 福.)
(iii) For bo ssäm (which WSJ italicizes to indicate it is a loanword), see bossam
("To eat, the meat and side dishes are wrapped together in ssam vegetables, hence the literal meaning of bossam: 'wrapped' or 'packaged' ")
(A) Bo Ssäm -- Ginger Scallion Sauce. Jittery Cook, May 13, 2019
(The top photo shows two final products: meat in a vegetable bowl)
(B) Bo Ssam Kimchi with Chef David Chang. Martha Stwart, June 23, 1999
https://www.marthastewart.com/99 ... hi-chef-david-chang
(The final products show up around 5:27 (five minutes and twenty seven seconds) into the more-than-seven-minute video clip).

(f) How to explain the seeming success of plant-based Beyond Meat® or Impossible,™ I still have no answer.

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