It’s been rattling around in my brain for a while, this concept of “umami”, which I had never heard of before until fairly recently (I seem to recall first seeing it referenced in discussions of 1.4). It was an utterly foreign concept to me, and I couldn’t relate at all. In fact at first I thought it was a typo of “Edamame” which I have heard of and seen, but that’s the extent of my familiarity with them.
Anyway, I just read the Wikipedia page on umami, and now I think I have a possible idea of why I so disliked the taste of 1.4, once it started to register on me. If they’re trying to “hit” the umami flavor along with all the other tastes, then that would explain why it tasted so weird and unpleasant to me, as I don’t think I’ve ever consumed anything with umami (other than perhaps breast milk, as mentioned in the article… but I certainly have no memory of that).
It does concern me a bit that this is a deliberate target flavor, as I can’t imagine ever liking it since nothing I otherwise consume appears to have umami. Actually strike that, I just did a bit more research and supposedly carrots and potatoes are “umami rich”, and I occasionally eat the former and if french fries or potato chips count, then I’ve had the latter too. But that appears to be about all.
Is there anything known to counter or neutralize umami? Is it as simple as adding “sweet” to something? I’m thinking I need to plan ahead for future Soylent versions since it appears that this taste receptor is something they are intentionally aiming for.