A piece of writing on The Guardian website caught our attention. An extra taste sensation made the news. It’s well known that we have four main senses of taste. Sweet, sour, bitter and salty are elements the tastebuds naturally pick out as being good. ‘Umami’ is the fifth, so says this article. So we did a bit of research into it. What is ‘umami’, named from a Japanese word translating roughly as ‘delicious taste’? ‘Umami’ is described as intense savouriness. A fifth dimension to levels of taste, which lingers on the tongue and leaves us wanting more. ‘Umami’ could be the reason MSG (monosodium glutamate) is so popular with the Chinese. Many years ago, a foodie friend once brought a little pot of it back from China– she said it was regularly placed on tables in restaurants as a seasoning to be sprinkled on various dishes during her visit. All over the world, MSG has also been a stalwart food additive for many a ready meal. We’re not condoning its use to increase taste quality. But there are all sorts of scientific reasons as to why this has been commonplace. No space to list them here – do your own ‘umami’ research in association with this food additive and discover just how clever our tastebuds are in dictating why we like what we like and resulting manufacture of MSG commercially. Truth is, humans find ‘umami’ very appealing indeed, whatever way it comes. There are plenty of natural ingredients which have the ‘umami’ Wow! Factor. The Guardian names matured Parmesan as a top ‘umami’ food. We thought of Irish cheeses that may compete for that status. A piece of well matured Irish farmhouse cheddar with its piquant voluptuousness may well be up there. As could Teergay – the mature hard cheese produced from raw cow’s milk by Toonsbridge Dairy in Macroom Co. Cork. Crozier Blue, the savoury sister sheep’s milk cheese to Tipperary’s Cashel Blue cow’s milk cheese, is another we think goes the distance. A piece never lasts long because you just want to keep hacking chunks off till it’s all gone. That’s ‘umami’ in action. It’s an interesting concept. Are there any ingredients you think have ‘umami’ appeal?