Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Obscure anniversary watch

Happy hundredth birthday, glutamate flavourings! Discovered in Japan, 1908. Monosodium glutamate, the same New York Times piece reports, was invented a year later, is now considered completely safe on most scientific evidence, and has returned to the world of processed foods under a variety of ingenious names; the most brilliantly wholesome-sounding is "vegetable broth". The Times writer also says that Marmite is glutamate-flavoured, which I may have heard before but had forgotten, and goes on to give further evidence of the ways "molecular gastronomy" overlaps with industrial cooking.

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