The magic of umami
Sweet, sour, salty and bitter are the four commonly known taste sensations. “Umami” is the fifth, though it is much less known. Umami was discovered in Japan by the chemistry professor Kikunae Ikeda in 1908. In an experiment to investigate the composition of traditional Japanese dashi broth, Kikunae Ikeda discovered that it didn’t taste sweet, sour, salty or bitter. He named this new taste “umami”, a combination of the Japanese words “umai” and “mi”, which mean “delicious” and “taste”.
We experience the fifth taste sensation of umami on a daily basis - in fish, meat, tomatoes, cheese and soy sauce - even though we don’t always consciously recognise it. Umami alone doesn’t have any particularly flavour, but it does round out the overall flavour of a dish. With the right seasoning, umami can transform any kind of cuisine from anywhere in the world into a very special flavour experience.
Soy sauce is particularly rich in naturally produced umami components that are generated during the brewing process. These umami components are composed of about 20 different amino acids produced as the koji mold dissolves the proteins contained in the soybeans and wheat.
Kikkoman Soy Sauce quality
- We use only 4 ingredients
- A natural brewing process
- No GM ingredients
- Manufactured to current European food standards
Our Iconic Bottle
"Design is a source of life enhancement". That is the motto of the Japanese industrial designer, Kenji Ekuan, who designed our iconic bottle.
The 150 ml bottle was developed in 1961 and its popularity remains undiminished today. Featuring a curved silhouette and unobtrusive lettering, the bottle’s simplicity, elegance and modernity make it a genuinely eye-catching object. The trendy designer bottle beautifies tables in the home and in restaurants the whole world over.
What’s more, it doesn’t just look fantastic, it’s also practical! The perfectly shaped pourer enables the precise and clean dispensing of small quantities or even single drops of soy sauce without drips. So it isn’t just the ideal cooking aid, it’s also perfect as a table-top seasoning for meals with family or friends.
Thanks to its screw-off cap and dishwasher-safe material, the designer bottle can be re-used over and over again, providing the user with enjoyment for years on end. Simply pour Kikkoman naturally brewed soy sauce out of the standard bottle’s wide opening into the dispenser for stylish seasoning at the dining table.
In 2003 Kenji Ekuan was awarded the prestigious Lucky Strike Design Award for his body of work including our famous bottle. You can also find it on display in the permanent collections of Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Germany and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.