|Our purpose is to present information about umami in the Australian context. We do not attempt to explain umami in any more detail. To learn all about umami please visit the Umami Information Centre’s website.
Umami is a ubiquitous taste and not at all exotic. Umami makes savoury food more delicious – that certain extra something that you just can’t describe. Unlike the other four tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter, umami was only identified around the beginning of the twentieth century and only accepted as the fifth taste towards the end of that century. However, umami has be a part of the human diet since we began to cook and ferment food.
As can be seen from the map below the umami taste is a world phenomenon and Australia’s unique contribution is Vegemite. Professor Barbara Santich informed us at the Umami – Exotic Taste or World Taste Seminar that although early Australian cuisine was plain it was not bland, many umami-rich condiments like Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and chutneys and mushroom ketchup were used to enhance the flavour. You can watch her presentation on our EVENTS page.