Umami is the fifth basic taste. The other four are: sweet, bitter, sour and salty.
The word umami is Japanese and it means "good flavor".
The umami taste has been discovered in 1908 by Dr. Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese scientist and is defined as a savory, meaty or brothy taste found in foods like meat, parmesan cheese, mushrooms, soy sauce, green tea and others, that is imparted by glutamate (an amino acid).
In the '80s, various studies proved that umami constituted a legitimate fifth basic taste.