Friday, 1 July 2011


It’s rare to find a food product that is truly revolutionary but restaurateur and author Laura Santtini’s Taste #5 Umami Paste is just that.

 Taste #5 Umami Paste

Described in The Sun as “the 5th sense of taste,” umami is one of the five basic tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty. Combining tomato purée, garlic, anchovy paste, black olives, balsamic vinegar, porcini mushrooms, parmesan mushrooms, parmesan cheese, citric acid, olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt, Taste #5 Umami Paste is Santtini’s take on a phenomenon that is formed from glutamates.

The concept itself first became known in the late 1800s when used by Auguste Escoffier at his renowned restaurant in Paris. Whilst Escoffier didn’t identify it specifically, it then came to the attention of Professor Kikunae Ikeda in 1908 when he identified it as a “pleasant savory taste.” He noted that glutamates and ribonucleotides were responsible for the palatability of broth made from kombu seaweed. Subsequently other foods that were found to be naturally rich in umami included cheeses, shellfish, cured meats, mushrooms, ripe tomatoes. Umami, it was discovered, gives these all the depth of flavour that make them appealing.

Most recent research discovered that an umami receptor is to be found on human tongues, inside the receptors for sweetness. This resulted in Dr John Emsley of the Royal Society of Chemistry acknowledging how important umami is to the taste sensation.

 Laura Santtini

Taste #5 Umami Paste™ retails with a RRP of £2.99 for a 70g tube and is extremely versatile. Suggested recipes can be viewed on Laura Santtini’s website and include a steak sauce using umami paste, butter and soy sauce and a pasta sauce combining umami paste, tomatoes and lemon zest. These are quick and easy uses for the product, but it equally works as a condiment for burgers, dips and sandwiches, enhances gravies and sauces and adds flavour to stews, soups and meat dishes.

Taste #5 Umami Paste is the 21st century Marmite. It’s a must have in any kitchen.

Watch Laura Santtini cook with umami at

Buy Taste #5 Umami Paste at Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Selfridges and Booths. Buy online from

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the Umami Burger restaurants. Great places. Even Zac Efron goes there.