I’ve been fascinated by monosodium glutamate for years. When I go out for Asian food I always ask the waiter if he can tell the kitchen to “put a little extra msg in it”.

I figure the cooks will then know they’ve got a serious eater at the table and up their game accordingly.

Any right thinking person loves parmesan cheese, ripe tomatoes, bacon, ham, soy sauce, fish sauce, Worcestershire and any number of other foods that are rich with msg.

So why do some people not enjoy a good blast of umami in their food?

For a lot of folks it’s the “lard theory”. Everybody said lard was bad for so long that nobody stopped long enough to analyze whether that argument was accurate or not.

Of course once the research scientists at the Harvard School For Public Health tackled the lard conundrum and declared it safe there was a seismic shift in the cooking world resulting in delicious, healthful lard being featured on menus across the country. Perhaps it’s time for such a shift on msg.

After all whether it’s produced in a factory from fermented molasses or extracted on your stove top from Kombu it’s chemically identical.

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