About the author
Laura Santtini is a food writer and gastropreneur who burst onto the food scene in September 2009 with her debut book ‘Easy Tasty Italian’, which won her the coveted Best First Book Award at the Guild of Food Writers Awards in 2010. She followed this success with the popular ‘Flash Cooking’ in 2011 in which she pioneered a new cooking genre. Laura has recently stepped into the family business—the Italian restaurant Santini in London's exclusive Belgravia, famous for being Frank Sinatra's favourite London restaurant—to help bring it into the future without losing past values. Laura's range of umami pastes and condiments are available at Whole Foods Market in the US and at prestigious stores Harrods, Selfridges, and Fortnum & Mason in the UK. This is her first book for Ryland Peters & Small.
Umami is the super-savory fifth basic taste. It is both ubiquitous and elusive, present but often unrecognized, and it has the extraordinary ability to enhance individual flavors, transporting dishes to another level. It is the taste that keeps on giving long after salty, sweet, bitter, and sour flavours are spent. Umami is a Japanese word that translates as ‘savoury deliciousness’, but it is far from a Far Eastern concept. It is absolutely universal and does not belong to any single culture—it can be shared, enjoyed and appreciated by all those in possession of a tongue. Everyone has experienced it—the salted anchovy that melts into the tomato of a pizza, the irresistible marriage of pancetta and Parmesan in a creamy spaghetti carbonara, or the rich, caramelized chorizo in a pan-fried calamari and chorizo salad. Once understood, umami is your best friend both in and out of the kitchen. Umami-rich ingredients will add magic to any dish, and make great cooks out of all of us.
In this book, you’ll discover extraordinary new flavor combinations in dishes such as Steak Tagliata, Umami Rub and Garlic Pesto; Dark Chocolate and Orange Chilli Con Carne; and Sunshine Laksa with Crab, Snow Peas, and Millet. This book contains a taste of the wonder and magic of umami, and once bitten you will forever be smitten.