0098 The Secret is MSG

Jun 01, 2012, 03:36 PM, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan

So what’s Japan’s greatest contribution to world food culture? Instant ramen? Sushi? Well, what about MSG, monosodium glutamate, the flavor-enhancing seasoning often associated with Chinese restaurants, though today used in processed foods and fast food franchises the world over. MSG was discovered in 1907 by Ikeda Kikunae who was trying to pin down just what makes Japanese seaweed seem so yummy. Ikeda found that humans don’t just recognize four basic tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, and salty – but also a fifth, which he called umami and which gets turned on with a buzz by monosodium glutamate. So when you enjoy some KFC, remember that the secret might just be MSG. #ashworth #ceas #japan #tsutsui