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Umami: The Fifth Taste

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Umami is described as a pleasant savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid which occurs naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables, and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role Umami is described as a pleasant savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid which occurs naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables, and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role in making food taste delicious. Umami is considered the fifth taste, in addition to sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. In Umami, ten of today's most renowned chefs explain how they discovered this fifth taste and the ways in which it has had an impact on their cooking. Two of the chefs are Japanese (Nobu and Murata), but the others come from around the world: the U.S. (Anthony and Kinch), the U.K. (Blumenthal and Cursan, ), France (Bourdas and Nagae), and Peru (Martinez and Schiaffiano). Despite their diverse backgrounds and locations, however, they all have in common an understanding and appreciation of umami, and the unique ways in which they're able to use it to maximize the exquisite flavors of their culinary creations. For each of the eight main contributors, there's a two-page color spread featuring a personal essay about umami, and photos of the chef and his restaurant. Then the chef presents four recipes that showcase the fabulous umami-rich dishes that have earned his establishment its Michelin star(s). The recipes incorporate fresh, local ingredients and use no butter or oil, so they are healthy as well as sublimely delicious. An additional section of the book showcases pastry, as two of today's leading pastry chefs weigh in on how umami plays a role in their baking. Recipes for both savory and sweet treats are included. The book also includes information about the history and science of umami, written by two leading experts on the subject, John Prescott, Ph.D. of Taste Matters Research and Consulting, and Ole Mouritsen, Ph.D., of the University of Southern Denmark and author of Seaweeds and Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body, and the Soul. The gorgeous photos throughout are by Akira Saito, the photographer for Edomae Sushi, published by Kodansha in 2010.


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Umami is described as a pleasant savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid which occurs naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables, and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role Umami is described as a pleasant savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid which occurs naturally in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables, and dairy products. As the taste of umami itself is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out flavors, most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays an important role in making food taste delicious. Umami is considered the fifth taste, in addition to sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. In Umami, ten of today's most renowned chefs explain how they discovered this fifth taste and the ways in which it has had an impact on their cooking. Two of the chefs are Japanese (Nobu and Murata), but the others come from around the world: the U.S. (Anthony and Kinch), the U.K. (Blumenthal and Cursan, ), France (Bourdas and Nagae), and Peru (Martinez and Schiaffiano). Despite their diverse backgrounds and locations, however, they all have in common an understanding and appreciation of umami, and the unique ways in which they're able to use it to maximize the exquisite flavors of their culinary creations. For each of the eight main contributors, there's a two-page color spread featuring a personal essay about umami, and photos of the chef and his restaurant. Then the chef presents four recipes that showcase the fabulous umami-rich dishes that have earned his establishment its Michelin star(s). The recipes incorporate fresh, local ingredients and use no butter or oil, so they are healthy as well as sublimely delicious. An additional section of the book showcases pastry, as two of today's leading pastry chefs weigh in on how umami plays a role in their baking. Recipes for both savory and sweet treats are included. The book also includes information about the history and science of umami, written by two leading experts on the subject, John Prescott, Ph.D. of Taste Matters Research and Consulting, and Ole Mouritsen, Ph.D., of the University of Southern Denmark and author of Seaweeds and Sushi: Food for the Eye, the Body, and the Soul. The gorgeous photos throughout are by Akira Saito, the photographer for Edomae Sushi, published by Kodansha in 2010.

43 review for Umami: The Fifth Taste

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deke

    Some great food science before & after the recipes

  2. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Exhaustive guide to umami-very exhaustive and technical guide to tastes. Every source of umami, from land to sea, is explored in detail with some very fancy complicated recipes in order to try them out. While well-explained for the layman, I'm not sure many laymen would be able to source many of the ingredients or spend so much time contemplating this sort of subject. If, however, you are a professional in the food industry-this seems like a one stop reference book for umami as the sources quote Exhaustive guide to umami-very exhaustive and technical guide to tastes. Every source of umami, from land to sea, is explored in detail with some very fancy complicated recipes in order to try them out. While well-explained for the layman, I'm not sure many laymen would be able to source many of the ingredients or spend so much time contemplating this sort of subject. If, however, you are a professional in the food industry-this seems like a one stop reference book for umami as the sources quoted are extensive and well explained. My middle rating is mainly due to how intimidated I was by ALL the information available and the prospect of sourcing any of the ingredients in my current situation-however if you have access to any fine gourmet shop (I can source very fine honey and that's about it) or live in an urban environment near asian supermarkets, you'll be fine and actually better able to make an informed decision about what you're buying.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marcy Graybill

    An advertisement for MSG. Pretty pictures, but unless you're a gourmet chef, there's not a lot of useful information. An advertisement for MSG. Pretty pictures, but unless you're a gourmet chef, there's not a lot of useful information.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gareth Little

  5. 4 out of 5

    P

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sasha Ziverts

  7. 5 out of 5

    Vladimir Semenov

  8. 4 out of 5

    Cillian Browne

  9. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Berkshire

  10. 4 out of 5

    A.P.Boylan

  11. 4 out of 5

    Diane Owen

  12. 5 out of 5

    Chad

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nayda

  14. 5 out of 5

    Claire Gowler

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lee Cart

  16. 5 out of 5

    Short Sorceress

  17. 4 out of 5

    David Antell

  18. 5 out of 5

    Harry Mills

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jorge Mario

  20. 5 out of 5

    Marie-Claude

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brad

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sofia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Carly

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tara Outman

  26. 5 out of 5

    penny shima glanz

  27. 4 out of 5

    Neverdust

  28. 4 out of 5

    Al

  29. 5 out of 5

    Scribblingsquid

  30. 4 out of 5

    Holly

  31. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

  32. 5 out of 5

    Jana van Omme

  33. 4 out of 5

    Mcmadz

  34. 4 out of 5

    EJ

  35. 5 out of 5

    Julie Lapolito

  36. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

  37. 5 out of 5

    Ron Smith

  38. 4 out of 5

    Pocketninja

  39. 5 out of 5

    Christie Shipp

  40. 5 out of 5

    Miss Liz

  41. 5 out of 5

    Garrick

  42. 5 out of 5

    Anusha Lakshminarayanan

  43. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Romano

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