Inspired by the taste of umami, I have created an easy appetizer recipe that will have your taste buds exploding with happiness this holiday season – Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites. I’ve talked about umami before, but in case you’re not familiar with the term, it certainly bears repeating. That’s because umami ingredients are a great way to bring crazy flavor to a recipe without tons of fat and calories.
Umami (oo-MA-mee) is a Japanese word that literally means “delicious essence” and is used to describe a fifth taste receptor. We all know the traditional four tastes of sweet, salty, bitter and sour are associated with specific parts of the tongue. However, there is a mouth-watering, savory, meaty and indescribable taste that happens when eating certain foods like beef, mushrooms, bacon, aged cheeses, fermented sauces and red wines – this taste is called umami. To put it sort of scientifically, umami is the taste of glutamates (the salts of an amino acid) and other small molecules called nucleotides working synergistically with other flavors to create a multidimensional taste experience.
This recipe for Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites is great to have on hand for impromptu holiday guests. Using only four ingredients (including Fig Newton cookies!) you can treat guests to something simple and yet oh-so special to eat in no time! It’s a recipe I’ve put together for Litehouse Foods using their delicious center cut blue cheese. Head on over to the Living Litehouse blog to get the full instructions.
I dare to say, you’ve probably already made quite a few recipes with food pairings that boost umami and not even realized it. Just think of the yumminess that happens when pairing salty feta cheese with ripe tomatoes or shrimp with soy sauce – all of these foods are high in glutamates. Below are a few favorite umami-rich recipes I’ve made lately, check them out!