Monday, March 7, 2011

The Fifth Taste: Umami

Scientists used to only acknowledge four basic tastes: sour, sweet, bitter, and salty. But in 1985, a fifth taste was officially recognized. It was called umami. My illustration depicts thirty-two umami rich foods ranging from seafood, meat, cheese, and vegetables. It is the savoury taste of glutamates and nucleotides. Mmmmm.

The illustration has an Asian flavour (pun!) to pay tribute to Professors Kikunae Ikeda, Shintaro Kodama, and Akira Kuninaka, some of the major researchers behind the discovery of this new taste. Being Japanese myself, I grew up with lots of dashi, wakame, kombu, soy sauce, and green tea. This subject is near and dear to my heart!

If you like this image, visit my Society6 store to buy prints, stretched canvases, or other fun stuff!

Come to think of it, this piece is reminiscent of my "sweet" Alice piece.


Anonymous said...

Gorgeous piece!

Alice Bonacina said...

Love the Asian flavour of the illustration that serigraphy feel!
But it make me so hungry.... mmmmm

Julia Minamata said...

Thanks, Alice! I love drawing food. My "Alice at the Tea Party" illustration could almost be a sweet companion piece to this savory one :P. Maybe I should tackle sour, bitter, and salty next!

ami moore said...

oh this is beautiful.