The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Maggi Liquid Seasoning/Maggi Arome

Photo: Maggi Liquid SeasoningA few years ago I travelled to France for the day and stocked up on ingredients that are cheaper and better in France. One ingredient I picked up was a chubby bottle of Maggi Arome. This was a purely sentimental purchase – I remembered the bottle was in my mother’s kitchen when I was a child. I loved the shape of it then and as an adult the retro shape held a similar appeal.

Danny started to use it a few months ago, with stunning results.
“We are going to have to go to France to replace this.” He announced as he sploshed it into a chicken dish. “I’m serious.”

His look indicated that he would walk to the ferry if necessary.
I remembered that I’d seen it in Tesco or Waitrose. I drew a blank at both supermarkets. Tesco is the bigger store so I put on my strongest specs and determined to find it. I searched for over an hour and eventually spotted it – high up in the Polish section. A much smaller bottle than the chunky one from France – 100ml for 76p.

As the label on the French bottle of Maggi Arome was in French we had no idea what the ingredients were. When we examined the English bottle we got quite a shock – Soya Sauce (Water, Soya Extract, Wheat Extract, Salt), Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium 5′-inosinate), Salt, Acetic Acid, Yeast Extract, Dextrose, Flavouring.

“We can’t use this!”
“I don’t care, it gives everything that extra edge.”
“How many dishes do you use it in?”
“Well, anything with a sauce or a gravy. Most things that I cook.”

I must admit that I haven’t used it myself but the flavour of D’s dishes has improved. And he was a pretty talented cook *BA. If you can cope with MSG it might be worth adding a bottle to your shopping list.  The instructions on the bottle suggest adding a few drops added to soup or a salad. Perhaps this is the way to turn Danny into a salad lover? This was met by a furious guffaw and the remark.
“Maggi Arome has pretentions above its station.”

What pomposity from one who has benefited from the contents of this shapely bottle. I might sneak a drop or two in my next salad dressing and sit well back to observe the reaction. We have entered the ‘After Arome’ period after all and it’s my turn to play.

*Before Arome

  Leave a reply


  1. Hi Bitz, many thanks for the reply to my query regarding the anchovies added to a dish to add extra flavour,I shall try it now that I am confident thanks to your reply, much appreciated.

  2. Hi Odelle

    I add my anchovies at the beginning, at the point where, for instance, I might be softening onions, garlic or other veg. I chop or snip them up into little bits and they soon dissolve into the rest. I am quite generous with them, but if you want to start cautiously, try just a couple in a recipe for 4 servings.

  3. bobquail

    I remember using a bottle of maggi seasoning years ago and I’d add a few shakes to most savoury dishes. Despite it being soy based, I found that it didn’t add a soy sauce flavour to dishes.
    re: adding anchovy sauce, we bought a bottle of it a few weeks ago but haven’t used it yet. I watched Nigella cooking pasta puttanesca on tv tonight so that might give me the ideal opportunity to open it.
    These days we add worcestershire sauce or a spoon of marmite to pep up foods. Until recently we would add a sprinkle of stock powder (these usually contain MSG too) but when the stock ran out we didn’t replace it and most of the time we don’t miss it.

  4. Hi Bitz,
    Thanks for the advice on the anchovies essence/chopped anchovies.
    How much would you suggest I add just to give that extra ‘oomph’ to a dish?
    I realise that this may sound stupid,(how long is a ball of string)!……
    If you can give me a rough idea, would I add it at the beginning or end of the dish?
    For example if I was to make casserole,using medium chicken veg in the slow cooker, what would you suggest?
    Apologies,however I would value your opinion.
    Many thanks,
    Odelle X

  5. Angela Connolly

    Yes, Lovage… ahhh where would I be without it in my garden…. its pure ‘Maggi’

  6. “Doesn™t the chopped anchovies/essence impart a ˜fishy flavour™ to the finished dish?”

    No. Not at all. Anchovy-haters never guess that they are the source of the tastiness!

  7. Hi, re: MSG, this is supposed to ‘numb’ for want of a better word, the taste buds into tasting a great flavour,as in chinese food.
    Hey,if it works for adding that extra oomph to meals, why not? After all they do say a little of what you fancy does you good!……
    I’m going to ‘give it a go’,don’t knock it until you’ve tried it is my motto!…….
    I’ve see it in Tesco, so will add it to my shopping list.

    Re: Anchovies,anchovy essence, these are have a high sodium content,which is why I can’t see adding a little ‘maggie’ doing any harm,unless that is you’re on a ‘low sodium diet’ for medical reasons.
    Doesn’t the chopped anchovies/essence impart a ‘fishy flavour’ to the finished dish?
    These and oysters are the only seafood that I don’t like so perhaps I’m biased,will have to follow my motto,don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!…..LOL
    Thanks to you all for advice comments,

  8. I just bung a couple of chopped anchovies into anything savoury, they have the same magical effect without any nasties.

  9. I find that adding a tbsp to dishes like onion gravy, roasted vegetables (roll the veg pieces around in it), roast chicken thighs or even under roast chicken does add something significant to the eventual flavour of the resulting sauce or gravy. But just one tbsp. Once, I added two and it backfired.
    Do Chinese takeaway meals still contain high levels of MSG or was that outlawed some time ago?

  10. We used to use Maggi Fondor here in South Africa. It was a dry substance which you sprinkled on. I think that the ingredients must be similar to the aroma.

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