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Inspired Tastes

Bold Umami

August 2021 | Marketing & Insights

With the proliferation of foodie culture and more home chefs upping their game, it’s hardly surprising that umami-focused salts and spices are taking center stage in product innovation. Umami is one of five main tastes, alongside sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. It can be best described as a savory flavor, commonly found in broths, meats, tomatoes, mushrooms, and cheeses. Besides these popular foods, umami can also be created by the addition of glutamates, such as MSG.

To bring that pop of umami that consumers are craving, there are dozens of flavorful spice blends, sauces, and bouillons on the market.

Why This Trend Will Stick

LOTS OF LOVE FOR MUSHROOMS

According to the Morning Call, consumers are gravitating towards mushrooms due to their umami flavor and protein-like texture.

— The Morning Call

DESIRE FOR NEW FLAVOR PROFILES

30% of consumers seek bold flavors and 22% of consumers seek new flavors all of the time while 66% seek out new flavors from time to time.

— IFT

Simple Umami Blends

The simplest way to add a dash of umami flavor is through a spice blend, with ingredients such as garlic, onion, salt, mushrooms, and even seaweed. Each blend takes its own approach to umami and there’s plenty of room for experimentation, adding in sweeter elements like brown sugar or spicier ingredients such as sichuan powder.

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Girl Carnivore’s Ooomami Blend brings together hearty umami-filled mushrooms with brown sugar, nori, and chipotle peppers for a sweet, spicy, and rich mixture. This savory combination is great on burgers, gravies, veggies, steaks, and more. Trader Joe’s also offers a Multipurpose Umami blend which features porcini and white button mushrooms along with pepper, onion, mustard seed and thyme.

For a wider selection of blends, look to Momofuku’s Seasoned Salts. After ten years of research in the Momofuku Culinary Lab, the company created their line of three seasoned salts, each packed with umami flavors and perfect for different types of food. Their Savory mix is perfect with meats and vegetables, heavy on salt, onion powder, and mushrooms for a full umami effect. Tingly is recommended for fish and wings, with a kick from sichuan powder. And their Spicy variety boasts “a jolt of heat and roundness” according to its packaging. Its spiciness is more robust than Tingly’s, with chili de arbol, sichuan powder, and red bell pepper powder for a bit of tanginess. While each seasoning has its own flavor profile, all include mushrooms and seaweed, creating a nice undercurrent of umami in every blend.

Umami Sauces & Spices

The Ultimate Umami Seasoning Set by Seeds Ranch includes Umami Reserve hot sauce, made with olives, mushrooms, and chocolate habanero. It boasts a rich, smoky flavor that’s a wonderful fit for meats, soups, and other dishes that could benefit from a splash of umami. For those a bit shy about spice, their hot sauce is mild, bringing just enough heat to taste. The Umami Reserve hot sauce is accompanied by an all-purpose umami seasoning made with garlic, kelp fronds, mushrooms, and paprika.

Flavor-Packed Bouillon

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Umami flavors are commonly associated with broths and soups, derived from their meatier and saltier tones. To get the full force of umami flavor in any broth, sauce, stock, or soup, there’s Dark Horse Umami Bouillon. This highly concentrated add-in boasts the umami flavors of mushrooms, seaweed, and tomato alongside spices such as paprika, ginger, and star anise. It’s a delectable plant-based mix that brings a dynamic flavor profile.

Takeaways

  • Mushrooms are a good base for any umami-focused mix. Whether used in their original form or as part of a seasoning blend, they provide the umami flavor consumers are craving.
  • Umami is flexible and highly customizable. Peppers can bring a spicier edge, sugars can sweeten it, and other spices and add-ins can help to provide an entirely unique take.

 

To deliver the power of umami to your next innovation, contact your McCormick Account Manager or contact us here today.