That elusive fifth flavour known as umami can be a chef's best friend as well as a diner's dream.
While it's hard to definitively describe it, it's the ineffable flavour that keeps us coming back for more. There are a number of foods naturally higher in umami and foods we might well gravitate to whilst seeking the "pleasant savoury taste", as defined by the Umami Information Centre.
If your dining Achilles' heel is a juicy burger topped off with cheese and tomato ketchup or pasta with tomato sauce topped off with flakes of aged parmesan, or a porcini risotto, or ... ok enough already ... what you are probably craving is more umami!
Here are 10 foods where you can get your umami fix:
10 Foods Rich in Umami
Photo: Consortium Parmigiano-Reggiano
Parmesan is probably one of the most umami rich ingredients in western cookery.
Another prime Italian ingredient full of umami is the humble tomato, particularly cooked tomatoes, including the ubiquitous tomato sauce and cherry tomatoes which are all rich in umami and probably why a burger tastes even better with ketchup.
Mushrooms, particuarly dried mushrooms like porcini, are naturally high in umami making them a popular and flavourful addition to sauces and broths.
Discover Fine Dining Lovers' exclusive Why Waste? video series, featuring Massimo Bottura and his team of chefs, as they teach us how to repurpose leftovers and trimmings in delicious and imaginative ways, from vegetables to dairy. Take a look