Note: this is a draft. Please comment if you have suggestions, clarifications, or pictures.

Adjective. Tasteless is the closest English word, but “taste that lacks its essence” is probably closer to the meaning. Said of milk, but more usually of meat and other foods. There is an American prison food called nutraloaf, which is formulated to tastes of nothingness. Its absolute lack of any taste makes it difficult to eat, so its empty taste is part of the penal concept. The concept underpinning meishiamu is more subtle than something than the nothingness of tastelessness—without taste. Food that is meishiaumu has lost its intrinsic flavour, so the food is perceived to have a flat, empty taste. Examples are meat that comes from an animal that has died from an illness, or a recently deceased old cow. Both yield meishiaumu meat. If someone living near a town or shop has a dead cow, they will go and buy fat, tomato, onion, and salt, ingredients to make up for the missing flavour. However, as one friend observed, you cannot really make for what is missing—you still “cannot feel the taste.” Milk is said to be meishiaumu when the calabash has not been treated or has been poorly prepared so the aroma of the smoke left by the botanicals used to sterilize the wooden fermentation vessel is not properly fused to the flavor of the fermenting milk. Secondly, certain trees that the animals feed on can make their milk meishiaumu. Lnduapor and lschipuiluo are a couple examples, but there are more. It affects not only the milk but also blood and the taste of meat. The opposite of kemolok, good, meishiaumu doesn’t appeal to the palate.

Robin Leparsanti, April 1, 2016.

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