11 Recipes Featuring the Official Sixth Taste: Oleogustus (A.K.A. Fat)

Schmaltz Aioli © Con Poulos
By F&W Editors Posted July 27, 2015

First there were only four tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Then umami hit the scene, spreading its literal deliciousness everywhere and even inspiring a now famed burger chain. Now, there’s a sixth taste: oleogustus (more commonly known as fat).

First there were only four tastes: sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Then umami hit the scene, spreading its literal deliciousness everywhere and even inspiring a now famed burger chain. Now, there’s a sixth taste: oleogustus (more commonly known as fat).

Researchers from Purdue University recently discovered that people can identify the distinct taste of fat as something totally separate from its texture. While the pure flavor of fat might sound delicious, it’s not. Oleogustus was described as “unpalatable,” “rancid” and “irritating.” But that’s only when it’s tasted on its own. Combined with other flavors, oleogustus can be delicious. Here, 11 fantastic, fat-infused recipes to celebrate the newest flavor.

1. Grilled Mackerel with Lardo, Avocado and Jalapeño on Toast 
Thin slices of lardo (Italian cured back fat) are the key to this luscious dish.

2. Chicken-Fat-Roasted Vegetables with Gremolata 
Tossing vegetables in chicken or duck fat before roasting gives them a ton of extra flavor.

3. Bacon Fat Tortillas 
Andrew Zimmern makes his incredible tortillas with rendered bacon fat and fresh scallions. They’re delicious enough to be eaten on their own.

4. Pork Rillettes 
Rillettes is a rustic pâté made from meat that's been poached in its own fat, then shredded and stored in some of that fat. This one can be made in a slow cooker or on the stovetop over low heat.

5. Beans and Bacon on Buttered Toasts 
This hearty fork-and-knife toast from Hugh Acheson is perfect for a quick, easy dinner for two.

6. Spicy Uni-Lardo Sushi in Lettuce Cups 
These lettuce cups are filled with surprising and boldly flavored ingredients—crisped balls of sushi rice wrapped in paper-thin sheets of lardo and topped with fresh sea urchin.

7. Schmaltz Aioli
Schmaltz (chicken fat) is the base for this silky, rich aioli, which is amazing with french fries or roasted vegetables.

8. Brown Butter Popcorn 
Brown butter imparts a decadent richness to this popcorn.

9. Grill-Baked Potatoes with Chive Butter 
These supereasy, indulgent potatoes are layered with pats of chive and sour cream butter, then wrapped in foil and grilled until soft and delicious.

10. Honey-Buttered Grilled Corn 
Spreading butter, honey and a pinch of spicy cayenne over fresh corn on the cob, then grilling it in the husk, makes it insanely good—sweet with a hint of heat.

11. Grilled Corn Salad with Brown Butter Vinaigrette 
The wonderful and unusual dressing in this salad is made with nutty brown butter, pureed marcona almonds and sherry vinegar.

Related: How to Make Homemade Butter
10 Ultra-Indulgent Dishes
How to Make Homemade Sausage

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