Unearthly Umami

Unearthly Umami

Today, we're diving into a game-changing topic that'll take your backyard grilling from "good enough…" to "holy s@#$ that’s amazing!"!

Ever heard of the phrase "Umami"? In simple terms, it’s a taste or a category of flavor. You may know it as that savory, mouthwatering perfection that leaves you smiling and satisfied until your next meal.

If you're a flavor dweeb like us, I'll have you know that "Umami" was discovered in 1907 by a Japanese professor who had to know why his wife’s soup was so tasty. True story. Umami translates as, “delicious” and is our fifth basic taste after sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. It's like the hidden track of your favorite album – subtle, surprising, and adds depth to the whole experience.

But where does this mysterious taste lurk? Picture biting into a perfectly grilled burger, that rich, deep, meaty flavor that doesn't fit into the classic "sweet, sour, bitter, or salty" categories – that is Umami. It's found naturally in foods containing high levels of glutamates (amino acids), and it's what makes us go "YUM" with every bite.

Umami in the wild?

Think meats like beef and pork, ripe tomatoes, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, ketchup, and soy sauce to name a few. They're all bursting with umami goodness. But here's the kicker: umami plays amazingly well with smoke and char, meaning it's a Backyard BBQ's best friend! Umami speaks directly to our brains, signaling protein-rich foods, satisfying our appetites, and balancing taste and flavor. 

Pump up the Umami...

Adding Umami to your next dish is easy...

  • Add a dusting of Tacticalories FORAGER over any food or meal to make it POP... Flavor Enhancement cheat code. 
  • Enhance your burgers with a splash of Worcestershire sauce, or perhaps some finely grated Parmesan in your patty mix.
  • Grill mushrooms alongside your meats to serve as an umami-rich side dish.
  • Use a touch of soy sauce or fish sauce in your marinades.

Remember, umami is all about depth and richness, not overpowering your food. It's the secret ingredient that, once you start using, you'll wonder how you ever cooked without it.