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The word ‘umami' is now widely recognized and used amongst chefs, food writers and food fans around the world, but not so long ago it was known only in Japan, or among scientists, and even then viewed with considerable skepticism. One man who has been aware of umami longer and understands it better than most is Professor Tim Jacob, School of Biosciences, University of Cardiff who specializes in the relationship between smell and taste. “Umami has only been accepted in the west for the past 10 years or so, and the discovery of taste receptors for umami gave it credibility,” says Jacob.
Umami is the Japanese word for delicious and has been described to make one say "ahhh" or "mmm" when one experiences it.