The first time I heard the word, Umami, it was in the context of a burger joint that was across from my hair salon, in Santa Monica.
The word, though, goes back much further than the restaurant.
According to Wikipedia, Umami is a savory taste which is one of the five basic tastes, together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty; a loanword from the Japanese umami meaning “pleasant savory taste”.
So can something be considered Paleo that’s also a rich Umami food?
Yes; but proceed with caution.
Because soy sauce is a rich source of glutamate, which is used all too often as a meat tenderizer and flavoring, if the Umami recipe you’re considering calls for it, you’ll have to nix the soy as it’s a legume and it’s not Paleo. In addition, this is the very same sneaky little devil you’ll find in MSG, which is known to be a trigger for Migraine Headaches.
Not to worry, though, as you can experience Umami in other foods that are soy-free.
The Umami Information Center lists the following Paleo-friendly foods as being rich in Umami- so enjoy!
・Niboshi/Small dried sardines
・Truffles (we’re not talking chocolate truffles here: )
・Sweet potatoes (for endurance athletes- completely fair game on Paleo, just nix the skin)