Poetry

Vanessa Proctor: A Brief History of Umami

A Brief History of Umami   In the fourth century BC, Democritus added bitter to the three known tastes of sweet, sour and salty. No experiments needed, he was a philosopher after all.   And so it remained for thousands of years— four tastes only. But during this time, breast milk was pretty popular (to begin with) and the Romans couldn’t get enough garum.   In the nineteenth century Escoffier presented his legendary veal stock to the world, condensing glutamate, making it utterly delicious.   In the 1900s, Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese chemist, investigating the magic of dashi stock made…

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