Wasabi

This blew my mind:

The story was compelling and the cinematography is excellent. Sadly, I had no idea how one of my favorite foods was even created! And, I’m even more sad to learn that most wasabi out there is actually fake:

Very few people have tried the real thing, because the real thing is that rare. “The extent to which we’re eating fake wasabi is huge,” said Brian Oats, the president of Pacific Coast Wasabi, which bills itself as “North America’s only commercial grower of high-quality water-grown authentic Wasabi.”.

“Probably about 99 percent of wasabi is fake in the North America.” That holds just about everywhere else, too. Even, though some might not realize it, in Japan. “I’d say about 95 percent is fake in Japan,” he added.

via The Washington Post

Devastating. Really upsetting. Makes sense though:

The reason boils down to supply and demand. Authentic wasabi, known as Wasabia japonica, is the most expensive crop in the world to grow. The temperamental semiaquatic herb, native to the mountain streams of central Japan, is notoriously difficult to cultivate.

Once planted, it takes several years to harvest; even then, it doesn’t germinate unless conditions are perfect. Grated wasabi root loses its flavor within 15 minutes.

via The Atlantic

This makes me change a lot of how I think about my sushi.

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