Truth. It doesn't change. Sweet, salty, sour, and bitter equals taste. We get four choices plus smell, the great enjoyment multiplier of fine cuisine. (To qualify as taste, a taste must be detected without any other sense involved.)
Enter umami: Taste #5.
Defined as a "savory" taste, found in meats, seafoods, sea weed and various other vegetables and foods," one website says,"most people don't recognize umami when they encounter it, but it plays and important role in making food delicious."
Is that to say we don't taste it?
I've been thinking about describing the color blue to a blind man.
Or describing sweet to a man who has never had any. Words are impossibly inadequate. But we have honey. There is sugar.
There is salt. Bite that lemon. Chew up that Tylenol.
Umami remains illusive as the blind man's blue.
Yet they say it is the heart and soul of delicious.
MSG is the golden child of umami.
Umami enhances other flavors. It's the thing in cheese that enhances wine. The part of oyster sauce that makes stir fry---what? . Indefinable, indescribable.
That is something.
But there is nothing new under the sun.