Real wasabi paste is made from grating the fresh wasabi rhizome. This rhizome which is also known as a swollen stem (wasabi root) can take up to 2 years to reach maturity releases volatile allyl isothiocyanate compounds when grated to give that wasabi kick – the pungent zingy flavour which everyone needs to experience. The wasabi paste always tastes amazing when it is freshly grated. The best grater to use on the rhizome is a traditional Japanese sharkskin paddle. Real wasabi rhizomes are almost impossible to find in stores, but at Wasabi Crop we are taking care of this to produce freshly grown wasabi rhizomes, leaves and stems for all our customers.
Over 90% of wasabi served in sushi restaurants do not contain any real wasabi and many people have not experienced the true taste of wasabi.
It is generally not known but fake wasabi is concocted from a mixture of horseradish, mustard and green food colouring and is a poor copy of genuine wasabi.
What is the difference in the taste between real and fake wasabi?
Real wasabi is a herb that gives a punchy zingy heat flavour to your palate without the mustard seed flavour of the fake stuff. Fake wasabi has a very unpleasant taste that extinguishes the delicate taste of fish and delivers an overpowering strong mustard flavour.
So, just make sure you are dabbing real wasabi on your favourite dish.
Real wasabi does not set your mouth on fire like chillis; it is more subtle but still manages to clear your palate with an intensely refreshing sensation.
Enjoy your fresh wasabi – providing new foods for your table!
Sofia Kitson, Blogger