December 14, 2009

Everything tastes better with umami

The secret to my amazing chili?

A quarter-cup of Worcestershire sauce.

Why is Caesar salad dressing so good?

Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and (I hope!) anchovies.

I spent years loving umami-rich foods without understanding why. It’s a natural flavor common in many foods and cuisines, but if you don’t know it’s there, it’s hard to incorporate in your own cooking.

The WSJ has an excellent overview, and you’ll find more information and recipes at the Umami Information Center. My rule of thumb? There aren’t many dishes you won’t improve with either parmesan cheese or Worcestershire sauce.

Comments

  1. Billy Henderson :

    Have you thought of doing a blog on:
    A comparison of how much it costs to support an orphan and how much it costs to feed a pet? The first fifty hits on Google when you enter “orphans” and “pets” have to do with “pet orphans.”
    A comparison of orange peelers. Or, a blog on the one item you were suckered into buying through an infomercial which really DID DO what it said it would do?
    The effect of watching Red Skelton once a week for three years vs. watching Seinfeld once a week for three years. You could have Jack Benny or Dick Van Dyke vs. Three’s Company or Two and a half Men.
    No one has written a blog on your favorite place to visit as a child or your memory of Christmas as a child (“your” not being generic but meaning “Bob Pritchett’s”). Well, maybe you have an I haven’t read it.
    You probably know several people who have never been blogged about…For me, that would be my high school principal or my first boss.
    Which states in the Union have state pride and why they have it? I’m from Kentucky.
    What if Germany had won WWII.
    How about a blog on, “The kid who waited on me at the restaurant last night.” For me it was a young philosophy major named Chase. He rock climbs and rides a fixed gear (as do my two sons).
    How about, “the worst sermon I ever heard and why it was so bad.” You have never heard me, praise the Lord.
    The greatest church you know with attendance under 100.
    Something you memorized as a kid and how it sticks with you today.
    What the world might be like if the Pope and the other Patriarchs had stuck together back in the 12th century.
    The difference between a power loss 50 years ago (pre-computer days) and a power loss today.
    The ingredients of a Snickers or Baby Ruth.
    Eating Spaghetti in Italy vs. eating Spaghetti in Washington State (Tacos in Mexico, Sushi in Japan, etc.).
    Why it is cheaper for “company x” (I’m using restraint in not filling in the x) to have you talk to someone in India for three frustrating hours rather than provide someone who speaks “your English.” Hint: I spoke with one young assistant who makes $72.00 a week in India. I know people have written about not understanding oversees “help” departments, but have you seen a breakdown of how much those assistants actually make? But please don’t let this turn into a consideration of using foreign help centers for Logos, even if it is cheaper.
    Someone who was always pleasant, yet you discovered near the end of their life that they had lived with constant pain. Not a new theme, but maybe the person you know deserves mention.
    The parallel between the 20th century view of divorce and the 20th century view of church membership (point having to do with lack of commitment).
    Something you saw someone do because it was right, not because it benefited them.
    Why my kids are starting to wear Levi’s (my brand of choice throughout high school).
    Why some people are better off paying for personal home IT rather than trying to do it themselves. Of course you probably wouldn’t understand.
    Or, why don’t you run a contest for “the best original blogging topic” and give away a digital copy of the Logos book of the winner’s choice?

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