What is the fifth taste you can sense on your tongue?

12 February 2006

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Question

What is the fifth taste you can sense on your tongue?

Answer

The fifth taste is umami. This has been known for a very long time in the East, and is called umami because the Japanese recognise it. It's only in the last 20 years that it's really been recognised in the West as well. Umami is the sense that is triggered by monosodium glutamate, which I'm sure you know is in soy sauce and food from Chinese restaurants. But most people don't realise what it really is. It's actually very common and is found in tomato puree and it's in parmesan cheese.

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