The Costco Connection
These ingredients and a variety of other
foods containing umami can be found
at your local Costco warehouse.
Umami is more familiar than you think
From Cooking The Costco Way, 2003
Make this tasty appetizer or lunchtime meal packed
with umami-licious ingredients. Bonus: Spinach also
2 pounds large mushrooms
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed,
drained and squeezed dry
16 ounces Italian sausage (removed from casing,
if applicable), cooked, drained and crumbled
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons Italian-style bread crumbs
3 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 350 F. Remove stems from
mushrooms and place caps upside down in 2
greased 9 x 13-inch baking dishes. Combine
spinach, sausage, Parmesan and olive oil.
Stuff sausage mixture into mushroom caps.
Sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle with
melted butter. Bake for 30 minutes, or until
brown and bubbly. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
By Hana Medina
DESPITE ITS DISCOVERY more than a century ago, the culinary world has recently been
abuzz about umami. Umami is the fifth basic taste sensed by the taste buds—the others are
sweet, salty, sour and bitter—and it refers to a hearty depth of flavor, or a “pleasant savory taste”
as its approximate Japanese translation implies (there is no direct English translation).
Umami was discovered in 1908 by Japanese chemistry professor Kikunae Ikeda as he ruminated over the qualities that made his soup so delicious. He concluded it was the high levels of
glutamate (a protein-building amino acid) in the soup’s kelp stock or kombu dashi.
You’ve likely been experiencing umami all along. A number of foods are naturally high in
glutamate, and can be used to take meals to the next level. Consider incorporating some of these
surprisingly common umami-laden ingredients into your culinary creations. C
Tomatoes Tomatoes aren’t just the stars of hearty, robust
red sauces; they’re great in salads, sandwiches, frittatas,
flatbreads, tacos, chili–you name it! And umami is the
Shellfish and fish Pescatarians and seafood lovers can
rejoice, because just about all of their protein sources contain
umami: oysters, shrimp, scallops, lobster, crab, salmon, tilapia, etc. No wonder high-end restaurants frequently devote
their specials to these water-dwelling delicacies.
Beef and pork The mystery of why Americans love
barbecues and adding bacon to everything has been solved:
Beef and pork are umami powerhouses.
Cheese Not that anyone needs more reasons to indulge
in cheese, but if you insist, it’s packed with glutamate.
Especially Parmesan, which tends to add depth to just
about anything it touches: vegetables, white sauces, soups,
risottos or straight from the block.
Green tea High levels of glutamate make this healthy
drink an umami star. Many chefs use matcha green tea to
boost the umami in their savory and sweet dishes.
Mushrooms Often used as a stand-in for meat in vegetarian
cuisine, prepared as a hearty side dish or served as a savory
steak topper, these fungi are high in umami and routinely round
out the flavors of whatever you add them to. Toss sliced mushrooms into omelets, pizzas and salads or sauté them in a red
wine sauce for a robust side dish.
IRIDIO PHO TOGRAPH Y