Umami: Oooo Mommy

Besides salty, sweet, bitter, sour, there is the fifth taste. A taste that is not directly registered on the tongue but more by receptors in the brain that register free glutamates as good or pleasurable. Being a person who is sensitive to MSG, I never use it nor products that contain it. However, sometimes when making a dish, I don’t have time to allow the flavors to develop. The meal
Must be served. Sometimes a dish lacks or is weak on the savory element. There are many tricks of the trade to boost the savory or umami naturally. Here is one of my tricks. I will not disclose the blend ratio or recipe, but you get the point. The picture is enough to give you the tip to develop your own trick.

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Peeling Garlic Technique

Remember playing with Play-doh as a child? You may have used a device to press it into hair or spaghetti. That toy press is similar to the garlic torture device that plagues kitchens today. Garlic should never be placed in one of these gadgets. Nor should garlic ever be smashed with the back of a knife. These techniques expose garlic’s alkaloid sulfur compounds to air which allow them to be easily oxidized. This turns the garlic bitter. Discerning palates do not like oxidized garlic.

Here is a quick and easy technique that allows more garlic to be used in a dish without the bitter oxidized bitter flavor.

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First cut root end off of the clove.

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Take paring knife and split garlic in two halves. If bitter green sprout is present, remove it with tip of knife.

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The cut skin comes off easily.

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As you can see, peeling garlic is easy – and no torture devices are required. The garlic can now be chopped or used as is. I like to use whole split pieces of garlic; these will develop and sweet flavor, as opposed to a bitter, overpowering, oxidized garlic flavor