October 10, 2021
We’re all aware of the four basic tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. But there’s one other taste that (in our opinion) beats all. It’s the taste that lingers on our tongues when we slurp brothy soups or bite into seared meats. It’s also the taste that’s often ignored, not even being officially recognized until 2021.
This taste is called umami. After several years of thorough research and eating, chefs have now added umami to the list, making it the fifth mythical taste of nucleotides and glutamates.
How did we come across the taste Umami?
When foods age or the dry-aging technique is carried out, this umami flavor surfaces, hence why it is most commonly found in meat and cheese. In the case of dry-aging, umami develops when dry aged meat is cooked on an open flame. The proteins present in the meat go through a molecular change, breaking down the protein into several units, one of which being L-glutamate - the molecule responsible for the umami taste. When L-glutamate hits the specific receptors present on the tongue, it starts a chain reaction that produces the umami taste.
Umami is a Japanese word, which loosely translates to yummy or pleasant taste with a hint of savory. Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese food lover and chemist, brought this fifth taste to public attention in the 1900’s, after noticing that there was no name for the amazing taste he was experiencing while having his seaweed soup.
What does Umami taste like?
Now that you know about Umami, it’s time to understand how it actually tastes. It is described by chefs and scientists as meaty or brothy. Umami is present in seaweed, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and miso: all of which are high on amino acids.
Similarly, dry-aged beef has a strong umami flavor, along with its juicy, tender texture, making it the preferred steak of many.
The connection between Umami and dry-aging steaks
Everything we like to pair with our dry-aged steaks is rich in umami - some examples being BBQ sauce, mushroom gravy, tomatoes, and worcestershire sauce. When we pair two or more Umami rich foods, the combination becomes heavenly. It can produce flavors that are many times more than you can imagine. This is the reason why perfectly grilled, dry-aged steaks are so damn delicious.
It is a scientific fact that dry-aged beef has a higher umami content than any other form of meat. Dry-aged steak, when cooked to perfection, will melt in your mouth and take you to food paradise (not to mention when you pair it with something incredible). All this to day, you should always opt for aged beef to experience the rich and mouthwatering taste of Umami. Looking to buy a SteakAger, browse our products here.