Kikunae Ikeda's Discovery of Umami and MSG's Acceptance : Short Wave We're continuing our celebration of taste with another episode in our "Taste Buddies" series. Today: Umami.

In the early 1900s a Japanese chemist identified umami, but it took a century for his work to be translated into English. In this encore episode, Short Wave host Emily Kwong talks with producer Chloee Weiner about why it took so long for umami to be recognized as the fifth taste.

Follow Emily on Twitter @emilykwong1234. Reach the show by sending an email to ShortWave@NPR.org.

TASTE BUDDIES: Umami And The Redemption Of MSG

TASTE BUDDIES: Umami And The Redemption Of MSG

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A casual expression of traditional Japanese dashi ingredients
T&I studio/Getty Images

We're continuing our celebration of taste with another episode in our "Taste Buddies" series. Today: Umami.

In the early 1900s a Japanese chemist identified umami, but it took a century for his work to be translated into English. This encore episode, Short Wave host Emily Kwong talks with producer Chloee Weiner about why it took so long for umami to be recognized as the fifth taste.

Sarah Tracy's book Delicious: A History of Monosodium Glutamate, Umami, and the Dysphoric Sublime comes out next year. Victoria Lee's book The Arts of the Microbial World: Fermentation Science in Twentieth-Century Japan is out now.

P.S. We've covered more tastes that a single week allows. Check out our episodes on saltiness and bitterness.

Follow Emily on Twitter @emilykwong1234. Reach the show by sending an email to ShortWave@NPR.org.

Today’s episode was produced by Chloee Weiner, edited by Gisele Grayson and fact-checked by Katherine Sypher. The audio engineer for this episode was Natasha Branch. Special thanks to Michael D. Gordin at Princeton University, Scott Montgomery at the University of Washington, Kumiko Ninomiya at the Umami Information Center and Masaki Uchida for their help with this episode.