Umami Information Center


[Lecture Report] Umami Lecture for a Dutch chef Danny Jansen

April 2014

Japanese Cuisine is gaining popularity for its well-balanced nutrition and healthiness throughout the world. Umami is one of the characteristics of Japanese cuisine. Top chefs in the world have shown their interest in umami, which enhances and utilizes the taste of ingredients. They also want to learn the techniques of Japanese cuisine to successfully bring out the taste of umami. Utilizing such opportunities, the Umami Information Center (UIC) organizes events targeting those who are in various culinary related fields to provide accurate information on umami overseas and domestically.

Chef Danny Jansen, one of the most popular chefs in Holland, visited Japan to learn about Japanese ingredients and cutting edge trends in Japanese cuisine. The UIC organized an umami lecture to provide basic umami information through the tasting of various dashi and umami rich ingredients.

Explaining palatability and the five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, Dr. San Gabriel introduced the cherry tomato as a way to learn how to recognize umami that is different from the other basic tastes; tomato also has sweetness and sourness. Chef Jansen expressed his impression stating that umami is "long lasting" and "the taste envelops the tongue." Dr. San Gabriel explained how one of the characteristics of umami is to promote salivation.

Following the tasting of cheese and Iberico ham, Dr. San Gabriel lectured on the two main benefits of umami. Serving a mix of both kombu dashi and katsuo dashi that themselves are umami rich allowed the chef to experience stronger umami. This is the synergistic effect. In addition, she presented a tasting of two types of vegetable bouillon: one seasoned only with salt and the other with salt and monosodium glutamate (MSG). This tasting enabled the chef to understand two other umami effects: the harmonizing of several tastes and reduction of salt without sacrificing deliciousness.
Housewives are the main target of the TV program of Chef Danny Jansen. He mainly presents healthy Asian cuisine and wants to stay in touch with the Umami Information Center to provide information on umami with simple words.
The Umami Information Center continues to organize such lectures in the hope of popularizing umami.

★As Chef Jenson did, it is crucial to experience umami to understand what it is. For such purpose, the Umami Information Center provides a practical tasting manual to learn about umami at

★24 KITCHEN is one of the popular culinary TV programs in Europe. Created in Holland, it is aired in 12 countries, 8 languages. For further information, please visit