The term “umami” is Japanese and can be translated approximately as “tasty”. However, ingredients that give dishes an umami taste are not just used in traditional Japanese cooking. The requirement for the savoury umami taste can be observed worldwide in different cooking traditions, whether it is Spaghetti Bolognese with Parmesan cheese or a hearty stew with meat and legumes. As with yeast extract, these foods have a savoury umami taste due to their natural glutamate content. The Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda first described umami as an independent taste in 1908. He observed that the intensive taste of a Japanese fish stock was unlike any other taste sensation described until then. Meanwhile, umami is an established basic taste along with sweet, salty, bitter and sour for both, top chefs and hobby chefs. Learn more about umami here.