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Spice Advice: MSG

Spice Advice: MSG

We get a lot of questions about MSG and why we’re so into it. To put it simply, it’s delicious. We love the taste and the unique umami notes it lends to cooking. MSG (or monosodium glutamate) is a super common component of a lot of foods - occurring naturally in familiar faves like tomatoes, cheeses, and seaweed. You’ll also find it in treats like Doritos, canned soups, Boar’s Head Cold Cuts, and KFC fried chicken. Prevalent in many cuisines including Indian, Japanese, Chinese, and American, people all over the world have consumed glutamate-rich foods throughout history. Judging by how delicious it is, we can see why!

So now you’re probably thinking “Where did MSG actually come from?” Glad you asked! Let us take you back in time to a pretty delicious part of culinary history. MSG was first discovered in 1908 by a Japanese professor named Kikunae Ikeda. Thanks, Kikunae - we owe ya one! He figured out that this one-of-a-kind seasoning provided a uniquely savory taste to a seaweed broth in an epically delish soup. Following this gastronomically groundbreaking discovery, Professor Ikeda filed an official patent to produce MSG for the masses. This led to demand rising and commercial production starting the following year. Instead of extracting and crystallizing MSG from seaweed broth, today the additive is produced through a fermentation process similar to that of yogurt, vinegar, and wine. Love working smarter, not harder - don’t you? 

Speaking of smarties: according to the folks at the FDA, along with common household ingredients like salt, pepper, baking powder, and vinegar; MSG is considered generally safe.** That said, if you’ve ever felt that you’re especially sensitive to any food or culinary product at all, we always recommend consuming what feels right to you. The health, happiness, and comfort of our friends in flavour means everything to us. Check out more resources and information about this savory seasoning staple below, and stay spicy, y’all.

More about MSG:

**FDA source

• OMSOM Article

• The Atlantic

• Five Thirty Eight




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