Umami. The unknown flavour maker

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  • In Thai cuisine and on every table in every Thai restaurant is fish sauce (often with some peppers in it). Many Thai find it essential for a tasty meal. It tastes nice and salty and therefore brightens up many dishes. Fermentation ensures the deep intense taste of the fish sauce. To make fish sauce, the seafood is sprinkled with salt and put in barrels.

    Slowly this mixture then begins to disintegrate. The salt mixes with the fermentation and the resulting liquid is drained off. This liquid is mixed with the fish again and the process continues. It is repeated until the fish sauce is ready. The whole process takes at least half a year. As with wine, longer fermentation increases the quality.

    Important is the formation of glutamates, flavour enhancing amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. They are naturally found in old cheese, mother's milk, tomatoes and sardines, and provide a savoury taste. That savoury taste is called umami, after the Japanese word for delicious or savoury.

  • onoff spices

    ONOFF SPICES makes natural and organic ready-to-use Thai soups, curry pastes and wok sauces for European gourmets. The production is sustainable, with an eye for nature.

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