Quick -- how many different kinds of things can we taste?
If you said zillions, think again.
If you said four, then huzzah for remembering what we all learned in kindergarten.
What are they?
Sweet, sour, salty, bitter.
Well, it turns out that there is actually a fifth. It is sometimes described as "savory", "meaty", or "pungent", but the Japanese have a word for it: umami. And chemically it is the sensitivity to glutamic acid and its salts, the glutamates. Glutamic acid is one of the amino acids, found in abundance in protein.