I travelled to Tinos to met some friends. Before leaving I was offered some tomatoes and that always makes me think of umami. The tomato is one of those umami fruits we can’t live without. Perhaps it is one of the reasons Italian cuisine ranks top worldwide.
The ripening of vegetables generally makes them more flavorful. For example, flavor maturation in ripening tomatoes has been related to the increase in their natural contents of free amino acids glutamates, sugars and organic acids.
Even before the formal identification of umami as a separate taste, it is interesting to note that glutamate-rich foods and ingredients were used in many civilizations. The use of fermented fish sauce in ancient Greece and Rome is well documented and is similar to fish sauces currently produced in Southeast Asia, which have high glutamate contents: https://mesubim.com/2013/11/04/garum-campania/