Recently, I began as a contributing writer for Nourish Network. My first article is: Demystifying Umami. Stop by and sign up, join discussions about ecofriendly and mindful eating, healthy bites and nourishing words. It's a place for recipes (I contributed Stuffed Mushrooms) and for discussion. Today, I received Elizabeth Andoh's wonderful Taste of Culture email with a wonderful description of different types of miso and a recipe for nasu or Japanese Eggplant simmered in Miso. I was compelled to share, with Elizabeth's permission the eggplant recipe and more tips on umami. Read: The Great Umami Caper.
Writing these two pieces, it occurred to me that there is umami in everyone's pantry, kitchen cabinet or fridge. It's part of what makes our favorite foods so delicious. Just this afternoon I sat in on an IACP Teleforum lead by the force of nature, Jaden Hair of Steamy Kitchen. One of the many nuggets of wisdom she shared is that we are working in a visual medium. People love photographs. So this post was born.
My visual homage to Umami
With thanks to Jaden for the visual reminder.
All American Umami: Ketchup
Italian Umami: Tomato paste, anchovy, capers, Parmigiano Reggiano, dried porcini
Dashi ingredients at the heart of Dr. Ikeda's discovery: Kombu (the best is from Hokkaido which apparently also produces best Grandmas), shaved Bonito, dried anchovies.
The Umami Pantry: Clockwise from bottom: Anchovy paste, Maggi Seasoning, Fish Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Tamari, Marmite
Bottom to top: Fermented Black Garlic paste, Tomato paste, Veal Demi-glace, Shiro Miso, Salted Capers
Korean, Italian, French, Japanese, Italian...your pantry.
See, it really is everywhere.