Umami

windjammer cruises in maine, Beeers of the Maine Coast, Schooner Mary DayGood morning everyone. What a beautiful stretch of weather we are enjoying here in the Great State of Maine. We are out and about exploring the coast again this week with Maine Master Naturalist Erika Rhile and Photography and Web-Guru JimDugan.com. But I am getting ahead of myself.

As many of you know last week was our annual Beers of the Maine Coast Cruise. Last week was a hoot but not in the way many of you might imagine. No, it was not a drunk-fest. We really did learn to savor and appreciate the many complexities and nuances of beer. Whoda thunk it? Right?

Our human taste buds, as it turns out, allow us to enjoy bitter and sweet,  salty and sour. But have you heard of umami? Deliciousness is the best translation of this Japanese term that has been around for longer than we westerners have acknowledged. Someone back in 2000 figured out that umami is an actual savory genetic taste recognized by a particular receptor in our taste buds. I like this word umami. What a nice way to describe beer or anything else for that matter. Folks may not appreciate a beer that is too sweet or too bitter but everyone found at least one of the 45 beers we sampled to have deliciousness.  I was shocked how much I enjoyed fermented cider, a beverage I had written off long ago.

Cider is not a beer of course but the point is that umami is more than just a taste. Deliciousness is a feeling as well. I like to use the word delicious when describing good naps. Or anything else that brings me the warm fuzzy feelings of relaxation. What tastes of umami for you?

 

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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This entry was posted in camden windjammer cruises sailing vacations by Capt. Barry. Bookmark the permalink.

About Capt. Barry

Barry King and Jennifer Martin own and operate the schooner Mary Day. They are both Coast Guard licensed masters and have extensive sailing and educational backgrounds. Barry has voyaged to Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and along the Canadian maritimes to Newfoundland. Barry is a Registered Maine Guide, and a Nationally Registered Wilderness EMT. During the winter Barry volunteers with his community fire department and ambulance service. Jen's sailing career took her to Florida and the Bahamas before becoming captain of Figaro IV, a classic ocean racing yacht, here on the Maine coast. Jen is a nationally certified Wilderness First Responder. Jen and Barry met as students with the Audubon Society's Expedition Institute while earning master degrees in experiential environmental education. This program gave them in-depth experience in a diversity of human and natural communities ranging from a sub-artic fishing village in Labrador to the native American desert southwest. Barry and Jen were married aboard Mary Day and live year round in Maine with their children Sawyer and Courtney. Combining their enthusiasm for people, wilderness, and beautiful traditional sailing vessels, Barry, Jen, Sawyer and Courtney are living the dream. When not sailing they live in an old timber frame barn in the woods of Appleton, ME USA

4 thoughts on “Umami

  1. Umami is a marker of high concentration of protein – that’s why nutritional yeast, aged cheeses and meats taste good. As well as autolyzed dough too (french baguette kinda thing) and all fermented things. So I guess it’s all in the yeast? Most probably unpasterized and unfiltered (‘alive’) beer would taste umami.

    proteins taste good to us for a sound evolutionary reason – our bodies need them as fuel and building blocks and generally they are not easy to come by.

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