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“Breaking Bland:” the Story of MSG


A while back, I wrote an post about the much-maligned, flavor-enhancing food additive MSG, its history, how it tastes, and where our unsupported concept of its harmful nature comes from.

msg molecule

If my post whet your appetite, you might be interested in an article from John Mahoney posted to Buzzfeed a couple weeks ago. “Breaking Bland: The Notorious MSG’s Unlikely Formula for Success” looks at modern chefs developing their own glutamate-rich condiments and uses this as a jumping-off point to delve into the scientific, social, and culinary background of MSG. It’s a long piece, but well-worth the read if you find this stuff interesting.

Featured image from the article

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  1. One interesting thing: human’s “protein” taste (which is what umami basically is), is limited to the amino acid glutamate. Other mammals, however, are not so limited. Rats, for example can taste all 20 amino acids.

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