You have all had Wasabi as a side condiment with sushi, but did you know that very few of you have actually had true Wasabi.

Wasabi is NOT a horseradish all though I have heard it called that many times.  It grows in streams in the mountains in Japan, is quite rare and very expensive.  Apparently very difficult to cultivate or grow commercially.

It does offer heat but not like chilies more of a heat that is a vapour in your nasal passage.

In North America what we refer to as Wasabi is actually a concoction of regular horseradish, mustard, green dye and some starch to make a paste.  The heat is more of the mustard oil so on the tongue not in the nose.

I did have authentic Wasabi several times in Japan and did note that it tasted or reacted different from the kind I had here but just thought it was a different brand.  Sort of like the difference between yellow mustard and Dijon

I was reading an article this weekend about a successful operation in Duncan BC where a farmer has managed to replicate authentic Wasabi in a commercial greenhouse growing in gravel with flowing water.  Experts maintain his plants taste the same as authentic Japanese.  The company Pacific Coast Wasabi is now building 50 more greenhouses and is expanding to other parts of North America.  I wonder if this is one of those moments where one day we say “boy we should have invested then”

In any case might be able to source authentic Wasabi one of these days