In My Kitchen, April 2012

In My Kitchen: April 2012

umamiUmami Paste: My feet stopped dead in stride when I caught a glimpse of this unusually packaged monochrome product that was set high on a top shelf at my supermarket. It’s called Umami paste, and claims to be the 5th taste. Scientifically proven, it claims. A flavour bomb, it says. I was still pondering the 5th taste aspect, mistakenly thinking it had something to do with the 6th sense. “Oh, wow, ESP paste!” I thought … but only momentarily; I quickly snapped out of that idiocy. Anyway, I bought the stuff, and then went to their website to see if I could learn how to use it properly. (Yes, I’m one of those types who read user manuals before pressing the ON button and blinding poking about at a gadget.) Umami is supposed to perk-up the flavour of anything it touches.

My opinion? It does change the taste of food, giving it a flavour that I can’t quite identify (I guess that’s the 5th taste), and it seems to work best with soups and stews. I tried it in salad dressing, and didn’t particularly care for the flavour. Perhaps if I’d read the details of umami on Wikipedia before buying it, I would’ve known what I was buying. It was an interesting experiment, but I don’t think that I’ll buy more.



Mørk Sirap (Dark Syrup): I bought this when we were in Denmark a few weeks ago. It’s what Danish home-bakers use to give their rye bread depth of colour. It’s liquid like water; not thick like treacle. Mørk sirap is to rye bread what gravy browning is to gravy!

Danish Rye Bread Forms:

breadPans_2Apr12Rye Bread “Forms”: Bread pans to you and me, but with a slight difference. Danish rye bread forms have sharp 90° angles with perfectly straight, upright sides. I bought these while in Denmark also as I’ve not seen anything similar in the UK. Can’t wait to try them!

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24 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi there! Love those loaf tins… your bread is going to taste divine. Umami paste, or that 5th taste aspect, as I understand it, can be found in things like anchovies, olives, shiitake mushrooms… all those headache inducing intense flavours. I wonder whether it is synthetically made? I’m not sure if you can access this, but listen to the segment here you may find it interesting!

    1. Misky says:

      Hi Lizzy! I don’t think that the umami paste is synthetically made. The ingredients list shows tomatoes, garlic, anchovy paste, black olives, balsamic vinegar, porcini mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, olive oil and white wine vinegar. The manufacturer’s website is if you want to take a look. I tried to access the download file at the website but it wouldn’t allow me to access it. I do have a tendency toward migraines, so maybe I should be careful with this stuff, eh?

      1. Oh, sorry that you couldn’t listen to that segment, it was really interesting. I think it did sound to contain natural ingredients, when I checked the web site, but definite those salicylates are headache inducers, so handle with care xox

        1. Misky says:

          I sure will be careful. I’ve been careful with red wines for years because they can bring on a migraine for me. Thanks for the heads-up!

  2. Glenda says:

    Hi Misky
    Your bread pans look lovely. I am not too sure about the Umami Paste. I think I will take your word for it:)

    1. Misky says:

      Hi! I can’t in all honesty recommend someone buy it. I’m sure that lots of people think it’s marvelous but I’m not one of them. 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by for a read and leaving a comment!

  3. Joanna says:

    I bought a tube of that once and I think I used it up in marinades and things like that. Not as exciting as it could be is it? Looking forward to seeing your rye breads soon 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      Marinades – excellent suggestion. I can’t rid myself of this stuff soon enough if the truth be known but I can’t bring myself to toss it out either. Rye bread? Eeek! I’ve yet to make my hot cross buns. I did manage to buy the double cream and a Radio Times this morning though – yeah me. 😀

  4. That Umami Paste sounds very interesting.
    🙂 Mandy

    1. Misky says:

      If you lived closer, you’d already have it in your possession; you’d have mine. 🙂

  5. heidiannie says:

    I smile at your dilemma- I have an extra refrigerator filled with products my niece sent me from Japan- I really don’t want to have to use it up- but can’t bring myself to throw it away- YET! The time will come.
    I really like the rye bread gravy enhancer! I would buy that in a snap.
    AND I have one of those loaf pans- I got it at a garage sale and love it.
    Didn’t realize it was Danish- now that I know it better- I love it more!
    Thanks Misk, for the educational little turn in your kitchen this month! 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      Once every few months, I go through the fridge and toss out jars of stuff that we’ve decided we don’t really care to eat, but for some reason … this umami stuff survives month after month. I’m going to use it in marinades as Joanna suggested – great idea. 🙂

  6. Well, that was very bold, buying an ingredient you knew nothing about and then using it! I’m impressed! I’ve never heard of umami and now will go google it:) Love your bread pans btw!! xo Smidge

    1. Misky says:

      I’m always buying new stuff and expecting my world to change for the better. It usually does, but not this time. 😀

  7. You know I want to try that stuff now don’t you…
    Is it like marmite?
    Love your rye tins too.

    1. Misky says:

      No, not like marmite. It’s tomatoey, fishy, garlic, acidic and salty…. -ish. 🙂

  8. Misk, what interesting things you have in your kitchen! Is the umami a bit like MSG? Interesting that they’re trying to bottle it now! The syrup and bread tins look wonderful! Thanks for playing! 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      No, not MSG either. I think because it’s this 5th taste that it’s making it difficult to describe. It’s almost all tastes combined to create a single taste (bitter, salty, sweet, sour, etc). Do that help? Maybe Joanna can help me with the description. 🙂

  9. Karen says:

    I love finding new food products when traveling. Some turn out to be wonderful and I can’t get them anymore unless I go back for another visit. Others turn out not to be so good and I regret lugging them in my suitcase.

    1. Misky says:

      I have a friend in Oregon who posts me seasoning salt, another friend in Seattle who posts me salad dressing mix, and from California smoked almonds. I’m always easy when it comes to gifts as they know what I want. :). What’s your favourite item that you’ve found?

      1. Karen says:

        We travel to Austria at Christmas most years and I love the Austrian pumpkin seed oil. One of my favorite restaurants also gave me a small bag of river sea salt flakes.

  10. Sous Chef says:

    Hello, I enjoyed reading about the unusual things you have in your kitchen, never heard of umami before, thanks for taste testing it for us all 🙂

  11. I’ve got some of the Unami paste, its mostly it has been sitting in my fridge as I ponder what to do with it. However it has gone into a couple of pasta dishes really successfully. This reminds me I should check if there is a use by date 🙂

    1. Misky says:

      Hello, and welcome! Thanks for leaving a comment. My tube of Umami says it’s good for 30 days after opening. Is that what your tube says, too. Pasta is a good idea; I will try that on a tomato based sauce. The suggestion of marinade is also a good one that we tried last week. Great with pork chop marinade using soy sauce.

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