Book Review: The Food Substitution Bible

Reviewing books is a passion of mine; reviewing cookbooks and books about food are a particular obsession. This is in large part, because I like to read, write and cook, so three of my favorite activities come together in a delicious synergy. Though, I have to admit, that generally, I like to read cookbooks or […]

All the Greens that Grow: Umami in Vegetables

Just when you thought I was finished with the umami, here comes a little bit more, this time, about umami in vegetables. We’ve already discussed umami in tomatoes, corn, mushrooms and fermented cabbage dishes such as kimchee and saurkraut. (Actually, when I wrote about umami in the West, I forgot to mention saurkraut–another lactobacillus fermented […]

Sauteed Kale with Shiitake, Balsamic Vinegar and Truffle Oil

Kale is one of my favorite winter vegetables. It always has been, though I have to admit that I seldom eat it was cooked when I grew up. In our home, kale was simmered all day on a back burner, in a big pot, seasoned with a ham hock or a hunk of jowl bacon. […]

Umami: The Meat of the Matter

When discussing umami, I have consistently described it as “savory,” “satisfying,” and “meaty.” What is more “meaty,” than meat? It is true that meat and poultry have a great deal of potential umami locked within them. Since umami is nothing but the flavor of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins and muscle […]

Umami In The West

After the long series of posts where I outlined the prevalance of umami ingredients in use in Asia, this singular post on umami ingredients from Europe and the Americas will seem rather paltry by comparison. The fact is, however, when it comes to Western methods of using the umami flavor, cooks traditionally have reached for […]

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