Whose mami? Umami.

The Houston Chronicle printed an interesting article this morning on “deadly salt” (yes, the actual headline contained the ridiculously salacious phrase “deadly salt”).  The author, Todd Ackerman, provided the following insight on why giving up salt proves to be difficult for most people:

It is almost impossible to prepare a meal without salt — it preserves food by inhibiting bacterial growth, offers technical advantages in the kitchen such as raising the boiling point of water, and, as one of the four taste categories, adds flavor or heightens existing flavor.

Unforunately, Mr. Ackerman forgot that there are actually five basic tastes or tastebud receptors: salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umami.

Umami, which was first identified by the scientific community in 1908, describes the taste of meaty or savory foods.  Although the Western world has only embraced umami as a fifth taste since 2002, it’s still common knowledge that there are now five basic tastes.

That’s okay, though, Chronicle.  You’re only about 100 years behind the times; I’m sure there are lots of events that you need to catch up on.  For example, were you aware that in 1966 a man walked on the moon?  I know!  It’s crazy!

So while you’re off playing catch-up (and from the look of things, this could take a while) might I suggest hiring a fact-checker?


On Scones, Part Two

It took me a while to post them, but here are the pictures of the scones I promised you in the original On Scones post.

Here’s the dough, before it’s kneaded slightly and put onto a cookie sheet.  I added a bit too much milk by mistake (that’s what I get for not measuring…), and although the dough was moister and stickier than I prefer, the scones still turned out fine.


Two fresh scones; so happy together!  I sprinkled more sugar on top than usual, because Richard wanted “sweet” scones.  We took it a step further and added some jam later.  Normally, I’d just eat them with a pat of butter and maybe some lightly-drizzled honey.


A bit of butter and jam, and we’re good to go.


If I’m going to continue my amateur food photography, I think I may need to invest in a light box and some white plates, because my antique — very lovely, but very aqua — plates just don’t seem to be cutting it.  🙂