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February 27, 2010

Umami in a tube

Umami the old-fashioned way


If you want to boost the umami factor in your cooking, you could add mushrooms, cheese or meat. Or you could reach for a tube.

British supermarkets this month began selling tubes of umami paste made of "pulped anchovies and porcini mushrooms," London's Daily Mail reports. Taste No. 5 is meant to satisfy the fifth sense of taste. A little tube costs about $4.50.

"Named Taste No. 5, evoking the allure of a high-class perfume, it triggers the sensation of delight in the brain when at least one of the primary tastes of sweet, sour, bitter and salty is also present," the newspaper reports.

Until No. 5 makes its way to this side of the pond, we'll have to make do with a dab of MSG behind the ears.





Umami the old-fashioned way, from mushrooms and tamari. Chicago Tribune photo by Bill Hogan.

Posted by Laura Vozzella at 3:17 PM | | Comments (5)


Umami shmumami. Anchovy paste in a tube has been available here forever. I think Asian fish sauce probably does the same thing. I use a dash of it in much of the things I cook instead of salt. You get the salt and the je ne sais quoi umami taste. Fish sauce would seem an odd addition to a burger but it works.

evoking the allure of a high-class perfume

Hey, maybe thats why you never here about English perfume. Bam!

Aren't anchovies in worcestershire sauce? No one would blink if you put worcestershire sauce in a burger. I put it in meatloaf.

Right you are:
Vinegar, Molasses, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Anchovies, Water, Onions, Salt, Garlic, Tamarind Concentrate, Cloves, Natural Flavorings, Chili Pepper Extract.

Woos sauce has a lot more than umami going on with all the acid too. I don't use it.

Yes, I think Zanino's uses Worcestershire sauce instead of anchovies in their Caesar dressing with very nice results.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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