Oh Mammy…Umami!!

When I was visiting Em in Dublin a couple of months ago, Em would introduce me to various barmen with whom she works, and they would invariably exclaim, “So you’re the mammy!” One bear-like barman even approached me as I was leaving the Irish Craft Cocktail awards and asked, “Are you Emily’s mammy then?! Give me a hug!!” After which he pulled me into a bone-crushing hug.

I told my dad this, and he thought it was so hilarious that he now yells, “ARE YOU THE MAMMY?!” every time I phone him.

So, apparently, I’m the mammy, which is appropriate because today is a luxurious pyjama day…

20160402_151328.jpg…and so I’ve been working on creating greater umami in my savoury cashew cream.

Yeah, yeah, I know: not the best segue, but every time I hear myself referred to as “the mammy,” I think “umami.”

And, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, “Umami” is a loanword from the Japanese used to identify a particularly yummy savoury taste that falls outside the four basic tastes (salty, sweet, bitter, and sour). The term was coined in 1985, and now Japanese scientists even hold conferences on all things umami.

Anyway, ever since I discovered the wonders of cashew cream, both sweet and savoury, I’ve been making a cup and a half of each every week and using it in little dribs and drabs on food.

Today, my goal was to umami-i-fy my current recipe for the savoury version, and I think I have it! And I think it’s the addition of the miso (in addition to the nutritional yeast and BTB paste) and that makes it particularly succulent. I also dumped the olive oil because I didn’t think it was necessary.

Umami-est Ever Savoury Cashew Cream

  • 1 cup cashews (covered with boiling water for about half an hour and drained)
  • 3/4 cup water retained from the cashew-soaking process
  • 1 tsp. Better Than Bouillon no-chicken vegetable paste
  • 2 tsp. basil (fresh or dehydrated)
  • 1 tsp. oregano (fresh or dehydrated)
  • 1 TBS. nutritional yeast
  • 2 TBS miso
  • 4 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic

Blend in a blender until no graininess remains. You do have to run the blender for quite a while until it gets super, super smooth.


And the recipe makes about a cup and a half. More than enough for a week!


Now…imagine this man yelling, “ARE YOU THE MAMMY?!!” at you. Yes, that’s my life.


Update: I changed the lemon juice to white wine vinegar after hearing this podcast. I wasn’t expecting much of a difference, but OH MY–it’s even more umami-ish!!

10 thoughts on “Oh Mammy…Umami!!

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