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Home Brew Forums > Food and Beverage > Cooking & Pairing > Msg
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Old 08-21-2011, 01:59 AM   #1
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What are your thoughts on cooking with MSG?

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Old 08-21-2011, 02:05 AM   #2
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Adds "umami" flavors (one of the six tastes your taste buds can pick up) and the easiest way to describe umami is mushroom, yeast or other fungus sensation. It's used very often in Asian cooking.

I like it, personally. It adds a different layer and makes it seem more authentic.

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Old 08-21-2011, 04:26 AM   #3
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If you like it, use it. I think the main thing is not to 'go to the well too often' with it. I like it in rice dishes, considering it for BBQ, and it appears in Asian condiments like oyster sauce, which I like to use. If you put MSG in everything, your dishes will begin to taste the same. Don't substitute it for good culinary technique such as browning, reductions, etc.

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Old 08-21-2011, 06:02 AM   #4
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As my wife is allergic to MSG, i have to be on the lookout for it all the time. It has several different names (autolyzed yeast extract, oleoresin/extractives of paprika, etc.) and is included in a great many things.

It causes a chemical reaction in your brain that makes you think the food tastes better. If you can't cook worth a crap, go ahead and add it, at least your brain will think you can cook well when you eat it.

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Old 08-22-2011, 02:08 AM   #5
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a little bit goes a long way!!!! just the amount that will stick to your fingers will change the taste of a whole pot of food.

i used it a lot at an asian themed restaurant. i don't use it now but sometimes i wish i had some just to help round out some flavors.

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Old 08-22-2011, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baron ken View Post
As my wife is allergic to MSG, i have to be on the lookout for it all the time. It has several different names (autolyzed yeast extract, oleoresin/extractives of paprika, etc.) and is included in a great many things.

It causes a chemical reaction in your brain that makes you think the food tastes better. If you can't cook worth a crap, go ahead and add it, at least your brain will think you can cook well when you eat it.
Is this one of those fake allergies or can she actually not eat mushrooms and tomatoes? That would suck. It seems like most people who are sensitive to msg magically lose that sensitivity when they don't realize the food they are eating has huge levels of free glutamate.
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:04 PM   #7
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We have some here because my wife is Japanese and sometimes she will make a recipe that has some in it. As said before, it adds umami flavor. I don't mean to disagree with Baron ken but it's not nearly as simple or insidious as he make it out to be. It is sort of like saying salt causes a chemical reaction in your brain that makes food taste better. Of course it does. It is a flavor just like salty, sour, sweet, etc.

That said, I don't use MSG because there are plenty of ways to bring out umami flavor in a dish which don't involve adding it.

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Old 08-22-2011, 04:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard

Is this one of those fake allergies or can she actually not eat mushrooms and tomatoes? That would suck. It seems like most people who are sensitive to msg magically lose that sensitivity when they don't realize the food they are eating has huge levels of free glutamate.
Seriously..... it's ridiculous. My favorite is when people tell me they're allergic to something that literally nobody is allergic to
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno_eNVy View Post
Seriously..... it's ridiculous. My favorite is when people tell me they're allergic to something that literally nobody is allergic to
I hear allergic to garlic and onions all the time... crazies!
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard
Is this one of those fake allergies or can she actually not eat mushrooms and tomatoes? That would suck. It seems like most people who are sensitive to msg magically lose that sensitivity when they don't realize the food they are eating has huge levels of free glutamate.
No, it's not a fake allergy. Free glutamate in mushrooms and tomatoes is from a naturally occurring source, unlike manufactured MSG which has very high proportion of the 'flavor-enhancing' glutamate (i.e processed free glutamic acid) that in some individuals can cause reactions.

If you are actually interested (from the tone of your post, I'll guess you aren't), you can find more information about hidden sources of MSG here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno_eNVy View Post
Seriously..... it's ridiculous. My favorite is when people tell me they're allergic to something that literally nobody is allergic to
My favorite is when people think they know whether another person has an allergy or not. Hmm, actually, it's not my favorite, it's kinda rude.

"You aren't a celiac, drink that wheat beer and quit whining!"
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