Jon’s best taste to blow your mind


Trees can’t dance because they’re dead – but Umami must live on.

When a company like trees can’t dance goes out of business (which it now has), their old stock hangs around in shops like expensive little ghosts. But never have these ghosts been more delicious or interesting than the Umami Pastes – a new taste that hasn’t caught on quite yet.

Umami is apparently the fifth basic taste – in a similar way that ‘Leeloo’ (Milla Jovovich) is the fifth element.

After sweet, sour, salty and bitter comes Umami. Take a moment to let that blow your mind.

You might now be asking ‘what exactly is it?’ Unfortunately, the technical answer is unsatisfying:

Umami is the scientific term to describe the taste of glutamates and nucleotides…  

These delicious sounding chemicals are found in things like smoked bacon, parmesan cheese, chorizo, shell fish and even ripe tomatoes. It’s a sort of a rich, meaty, taste like a good stock. We already love Umami, we just didn’t know it was a thing.

It is essentially the bad-boy of the taste family – the one that doesn’t care if it sometimes smells a bit like vomit. It just walks right up to a sauce, punches it in the face and then suddenly everything is wonderful.

Another way of saying this is that it balances and highlights existing flavour. But that’s probably a worse way of saying it.

The internet tells me that the best way of using it is chucking it into most sauces or marinades. Use it with pasta, chilli, chinese, curry – whatever you normally make. Just go for it.

Umami can be translated as ‘savoury deliciousness’.That’s something I need so much more in my life.

I’ve bought a pot of the pictured paste and I can’t wait to try it. It surely is the taste I’ve been looking for my whole life. I know it.

I only wish it wasn’t a little ghost of a product, that will soon be no more.

Fortunately, Waitrose have launched a similar thing – It’s super posh but intriguing enough to counteract that.

Umami is my best thing today – more than good enough to warrant a £3 investment.

So the big question after 35 or so posts – Have we changed your life yet?