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Monosodium Glutamate
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Monosodium Glutamate

Monosodium Glutamate

First isolated by a Japanese biochemist searching for the savory flavor in dashi broths, Monosodium Glutamate is a flavor intensifier. Its base, glutamic acid, occurs naturally in cheese and mushrooms. MSG has gotten some unfair press, but as food writer Jeffrey Steingarten puts it, “If MSG is a problem, why doesn't everybody in China have a headache?

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Details

Despite some bad press in the past, MSG is not considered to an allergen or in any way unhealthy. Glutamic acid occurs naturally in umami-rich foods like tomatoes, mushrooms, and cheese. This convenient granular form is an easy way to kick up the rich, savory flavors of soups and stews, vegetable dishes, and Asian sauces.

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