“The Fifth Taste Emerges…

January 20, 2006

“…from the Brine” (read this story from the NYTimes)

Umami — without wheat or dairy– is an experience that has become a bit more elusive for me than in years past. Parmesan cheese, for example, has umami, but I can’t eat that. Sometime late last spring, I started eating butterscotch candy like there was no tomorrow. The combination of salty and sweet and the roundness and mellowness of the flavor. [sigh] It provided a taste sensation that I wasn’t getting from rootbeer, which I had started drinking in earnest earlier that year. (Main Street brand, carried by Giant Food Stores, is my favorite, because it has the creamiest foam, and is available in a pony size.)

Well, I haven’t had any rootbeer this week, and only two pieces of butterscotch; the only reason I even ate those is that one of my co-workers had filled up her candy dish with my favorite version (non-dairy) in those square cellophane packets that pop open without having to be untwisted.

I’ve decided I really have to cut down, or better yet, eliminate them from my diet. Both the butterscotch and the rootbeer. Not only did my blood pressure go up quite a bit (not really a problem, since it was awfully low before), but I gained a signficant number of pounds around my middle, meaning a size or two. I really can’t justify buying all new clothes (beyond the two new pairs of pants I bought last month in desperation), when I have perfectly good clothes that I can almost wear, and sometimes still do, with a sweater hiding the length of zipper that remains unzipped. [sigh… sigh…]

So, now a new search for sources of umami and taste satisfaction must begin…



  1. Hi Karen! Just stopped by to say thanks (you know for what πŸ™‚ Congratulations on the apparently successful move. It will be fun catching up with what you’ve been fooling around with over here πŸ™‚

  2. Have you considered recycling previous cravings? It’s been awhile since you had a strawberry bar. You could eat some of those and then work your way back to root beer and butterscotch.

  3. Maybe something with ginger? The mild burn of rootbeer, the tang of butterscotch?

  4. Thanks, Carroll! (It’s not permanent, though, just an experiment and an escape hatch.)

    T: I’ve decided instead to keep the butterscotch and give up the rootbeer for now, since the rootbeer craving predates the one for butterscotch… I really don’t want to go back to the strawberry bars… too cold, and much more expensive.

    Meg: I did have a gingerale yesterday, but it doesn’t feel the same to me as rootbeer, more astringent or something. It is my second choice of soda… after rootbeer. [sigh]

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