Author(s): Laura Santtini
Umami is the super-savoury fifth basic taste. It is both ubiquitous and elusive, present but often unrecognized, and it has the extraordinary ability to enhance individual flavours, transporting dishes to another level. It is the taste that keeps on giving long after salty, sweet, bitter and sour flavours are spent. Umami is a Japanese word that translates as 'savoury deliciousness', but it is far from a Far Eastern concept. It is absolutely universal and does not belong to any single culture - it can be shared, enjoyed and appreciated by all those in possession of a tongue. Everyone has experienced it - the salted anchovy that melts into the tomato of a pizza, the irresistible marriage of pancetta and Parmesan in a creamy spaghetti carbonara or the rich, caramelized chorizo in a pan-fried calamari and chorizo salad. Once understood, umami is your best friend both in and out of the kitchen. Umami-rich ingredients will add magic to any dish, and make great cooks out of all of us. In this book, you'll discover extraordinary new flavour combinations in dishes such as baked Camembert with Parmigiano Reggiano and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Peppered Seared Tuna with Matcha Miso Vinaigrette and Coconut and Cardamom Butter Chicken. This book contains a taste of the wonder and magic of umami, and once bitten you will forever be smitten.
Laura Santtini is a food writer and gastropreneur who burst onto the food scene in September 2009 with her debut book 'Easy Tasty Italian', which won her the coveted Best First Book Award at the Guild of Food Writers Awards in 2010. She followed this success with the popular 'Flash Cooking' in 2011 in which she pioneered a new cooking genre. Laura has recently stepped into the family business - the Italian restaurant Santini in London's Belgravia, famous for being Frank Sinatra's favorite London restaurant - to help bring it into the future without losing past values. Laura's range of umami pastes and condiments are available at Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Tesco in the UK and Whole Foods Market in the US. This is her first book for Ryland Peters & Small.