They say that there are 5 basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and "umami" (pronounced ooo mommy).
On our continuing quest to excite our palates. we took ourselves off to the Candy Jungle today. Actually we came upon it accidentally in our search for a liquor store - an event we've been putting off for 4 months but that's another story.
The clerk was an excellent sales person and we bought a lot more than we normally would have because, as she said, everything we tried was "her favorite". Who are we to ignore such high praise from an expert? Maybe our first clue should have been that she was skinny.
So we bought dragoncito - tiny packages of powdered something that tastes like, ummm.... nothing. They are sweet and salty but that's it.
We bought chili covered mango slices which tasted like gummy dragoncito (which tastes like nothing).
We thought we'd be safe with chocolate covered cherries. I don't know where Mexican cherries come from, but obviously they are grown on the same trees that grow dragoncitos.
Ditto with the chocolate covered cranberries and raisins. There's texture in your mouth but no taste. It's like chewing on a wet kleenex.
The chocolate covered pretzels were a whole other experience. How do you describe crunchy nothing? It crunches and makes noise so you know something is happening in your mouth but there's nothing there. You have to check with your tongue to make sure that you've swallowed.
So, that's the definition of Umami..... it's not sweet, salty, bitter or sour. It's just....nothing. And ooo mommy it's a very disturbing experience on many levels, not least of which is that you have all of the calories from eating sweets with none of the pleasure.
On a more positive note, Jackie and I have an enormous amount of candy to bring to the next "snacker" event, which should be within the next 24 hours.