The wasabi you think you're eating isn't wasabi

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/03/20/the-wasabi-you-think-youre-e.html

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#2

Not much of a surprise for me, i’m sure real wasabi is different but functionally the fake version approximates it close enough that the average diner is going to be happy with it. I know i don’t have the money to get real wasabi, i wouldn’t mind having some if given the chance but i’m ok with the fake kind.

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#3

Frauenfelder’d!

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#4

The wasabi you think you’re eating

(I don’t eat wasabi.)

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#5

Here’s the real stuff! https://www.purewasabi.co.nz/

I bought a 1kg catering bag of this. It is 1000x times better than the conventional wasabi. In fact, I can’t even eat conventional wasabi it’s gross.

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#6

This is my feeling as well. If I’m cooking or baking with vanilla, I’m not going to use real vanilla. The fake stuff tastes the same and is a tenth the price.

Fake wasabi still tastes good. Does it taste as good as real wasabi? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to use it. Lots of things don’t taste “as good” as a more expensive version, but we eat them anyways.

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#7

People didn’t know this?

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#8

WTF is this Wasabi day at the BoingBoing offices?

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#9

I’ve always known this, and I recollect that once upon a time people were surprised by this, but I figured by now this was common knowledge.
Still, it’s kind of weird how accepted it is to label green-dyed mustard and/or horseradish (there’s not even any consistency as to the actual ingredients) as “wasabi,” especially now that there are so many (pseudo-) “wasabi” flavored products and people know it’s not actually wasabi.

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#10

It’s one of those things that are being used in such small quantities that to your point…as long as it reasonably approximates the flavor, how would anyone know the difference.

Also…I have seen video, tv show, and book excerpt ad nauseum tell me how no real sushi eater would want wasabi on the side, the sushi chef will put it in the roll if it belongs, don’t add it…its bad etiquette. yada yada yada.

So if I shouldn’t have it or use it in the first place…why does it matter if it’s authentic or not?

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#11

I agree. I don’t eat it so often that it really matters to me. I like it well enough when I do. Even if I had the opportunity to get the real thing, I don’t know that I would like it better. I’m a peasant, after all.

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#12
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Short video about life on a Japanese wasabi farm
#13

Dammit. I was just looking for a good clip of this. (tips hat)

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#14

I wonder if it’s hard to grow the real thing. My dad has a big patch of regular horseradish in Iowa. That stuff requires like zero maintenance here. It just comes back on it’s own every year.

#15

Of course google offers point and counterpoint to my query.

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#16

I vaguely recall looking up how to grow wasabi years ago. Likely its possible to do most places but my guess is that for large scale growing there must be some difficulties i’m unaware of. If i had some property i would not mind trying my hand at growing some… some day perhaps.

I do get weird ideas on things to grow though, despite my lack of experience. I’ve looked into what it’d take to grow rice, black corn, sugar cane, vanilla, and a bunch of other food stuffs. The only things i’ve committed so far to growing has been some peppers, an avocado plant and a dwarf banana plant (all indoors)

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#17

wasabi is fairly easy to grow indoors as a houseplant and you’ll always have fresh whenever needed. a very little goes a long way and when you grow your own you can use the leaves in pickling similar to shisho.

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#18

If I’m paying $300 for a master chef to prepare me food, I’m eating it his/her way.
If I’m paying $2.50 a plate off the back of a model train, I’m bathing that stuff in green horseradish!

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#19

Is that so bad if it is?

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#20

It’s just an observation not a condimentation.

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