Interesting thing I learned today:
There are five tastes. Everyone’s familiar with bitter, sweet, salty, and sour… those were identified back around 400BC. But it wasn’t until the early 20th Century that a Japanese chemist identified a fifth taste, called umami (Japanese for “delicious”).
Oddly enough, monosodium glutamate (generally known as MSG) triggers umami pretty strongly, which is why MSG makes things so darn tasty.
Now if I can only work that into a dinner conversation somehow: “Mmm, these ramen noodles are really umami!”