What is umami, anyway?
A single word holds the key to the magic to so much of what we understand about the world of taste and flavour today – Umami. But what is this famous fifth taste, where do we find it, and why is it that we can’t get enough of it?
Umami is synonymous with Japan in many ways, in everything from their cuisine to their tea ceremonies, but there’s no reason the illusive ‘fifth taste’ can’t be produced in other countries too. This was exactly the thought that struck journalist Nina Gruntowski one day, when she discovered that green tea could be successfully grown in the Northern Portuguese climate, known as the "land of camellias".
In part of our series umami from around the globe, we have the pleasure of speaking with Ricardo Sanchez, who is gradually taking over the family business from his father Arturo. The term umami is closely related to pure, acorn-fed Iberico Jamon.