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I've worked with MSG in the kitchen before, and I actually like using it. A lot of people are nervous and superstitious about it (which, I think, leads to nocebo effects), but all actual studies have concluded that moderate consumption has no harmful effects on the human body - which makes sense, given that monosodium glutamate and many other glutamuc-acid-related substances are found, naturally, in hundreds of foods.

I have to wonder if people would still be nervous about it if the brand names like Ac'cent or Aji-No-Moto were more widely used. "Monosodium Glutamate" just sounds like a chemical, y'know?

(Sunday afternoon, INT: kitchen, GU's mother's home.)

JH: Ah, elbow room! Luxurious, decadent elbow room!
GU: So... pizza! Where do we start?
JH: I suppose I should ask if you have any dietary restrictions... allergies, vegetarian, gluten, monosodium glutamate...
GU: Nope, none of those. Although I don't think you'd put any MSG in pizza...
JH: Why wouldn't you? MSG is just pure umami, there isn't anything inherently Chinese about it.
JH (holding out container): Here, have you ever tasted it straight?
GU: I don't think I've ever actually seen it before.
JH: Go on, try it. Little dab on the finger, little dab on the tongue.
GU: ...It tastes like the number five beef and broccoli from the Chopstick House... but without the beef... and without the broccoli.
JH: I've worked at the Chopstick House, and you've pretty much just guessed their whole recipe for beef and broccoli.