Umami is the fifth taste (other than sweet, salty, sour and bitter) often described as savory. Our friends over at Merriam-Webster define it as “a taste sensation that is meaty or savory and is produced by several amino acids and nucleotides (as glutamate and aspartate).”
Umami is also the least known of the tastes. I say this with some authority because as I was hatching the idea for this blog and telling my friends and family about my idea, the responses ranged from “What?” to “bless you! – are you catching a cold?” to absolute silence.
It has to do with mushrooms and meat and tomatoes and the overall balance of lingering savory flavors. Those are all things that I hold as ideals when wielding knives amidst fires in the kitchen.
The purpose of this blog is to share the things we cook here in our kitchen in San Francisco. We set out to use fresh, whole ingredients as often as possible and organic and locally cultivated when we can afford it.
My increased interest in food and cooking started when I wanted to lose weight. In January 2010 I redefined my approach to food (flavor over fat, quality over quantity), drew on years of instruction, and taught myself to cook in a new way. My Grandmother taught me baking and tradition, Mom taught me taste, technique, passion and fearless curiosity (the fearless part took me years to understand). Living in California allows year-round access to incredible ingredients and constant inspiration. Though the battle of the bulge always continues, I’ve managed to make some very tasty things in the interim and most of them are actually healthy.
This whole project came together because of the suggestion of my amazing sister. She’s beautiful, brilliant and witty and obsessed with food. Despite that resume, she still thinks I have something to offer and suggested I turn my passion for cooking into something other people could read. Who knows where it will go, but I’m having a great time and plan to incorporate her expertise into my posts. I’m so thankful and proud to have the best sister in the world!