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If I have to choose one flavor out of the given choices – Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Salty, Umami and Spicy, which one would I choose to lose…?
Easy. I’d get rid of the Umami.
What in the world is Umami anyway?! I googled it up and found good ol’ Wikipedia, and it says that Umami is a Japanese word which is translated to mean “pleasant savory taste”. This ‘taste’ appears to be a combination of all the other four basic tastes, namely sweet, sour, bitter and salty.
Wait. Spicy is not one of ’em?
Hm. Well then, there’s one more good excuse for me to lose this “mild but lasting aftertaste that is difficult to describe” then!
I can even do without all the other basic four flavors as a matter of fact, but not Spicy! Uh uh. No way, Jose.
I love my food hot and spicy. The hotter the better! Everyone in the family does. The kitchen at home is never without chillies. Fresh green, red, and “bird chillies”, dried chillies, and Tabasco, Peri-Peri sauce and even the ultra-mild Heinz Chilly Sauce are all ‘staple provisions’ in the pantry.
Mom’s Fish/Prawn/Chicken Curry and Sambal Tumis Ikan Bilis (dried anchovies in chili paste) are two of my favorite hot and spicy dishes; they’re best eaten with warm white rice. The other to-die-for dish is her Curry Noodles. Always a hit with the whole family.
Just the thought of the Sambal (chili paste) is enough to make me drool. The sensation I get whenever I eat spicy food is something like doing a 20-minute non-stop cardio workout…you get all sweaty, and gasping and breathing hard but right after that, you feel ‘spent’. Best feeling in the world right there!
But the one thing you should never do, in case you aren’t accustomed to eating spicy food, is to drink cold or iced water. Even if you feel like your mouth is on fire, stop gulping down that gallon of Coke because it’ll make it worse. Trust me. Instead, I’d recommend that you sip hot or warm water/tea/coffee. Better yet, chew some cucumbers or mint leaves, they work like magic on your tongue.
Oops looks like I’m digressing here ….sorry!
So, back to the question at hand, the one flavor I would choose to lose is – Umami.