Basic Information about Wasabia japonica
Wasabia japonica is classified as a member of the Brassicaceae family which also contains mustard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, and horseradish.
This plant has a very strong taste and it is the root has been used as a seasoning for many centuries. Known as “Japanese horseradish,” this plant originally grew and still goes grow alongside modified stream beds in Japanese mountain river valleys. Here is a video of those Japanese wasabi farms.
Wasabia japonica is available in its fresh form as a root (called a rhizome), that you grate with a fine grater.
A product that most people call wasabi is in the form of a ready to use paste. The paste is usually made from European Horseradish, food coloring and mustard because true Wasabia japonica root is very perishable and much more expensive.
There is 100% Pure freeze-dried wasabi available which does not have any of these FDA approved additives in it. In real terms it is not much more expensive than the fake stuff and is a lot healthier for you.
This condiment is popular with sashimi and sushi, where it also used alongside soy sauce.
Not many areas are naturally suitable to grow Wasabia japonica although there are several wasabi farms in Japan. However, because of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster after the 2011 Tsunami, most of these Japanese growing areas are now contaminated with radioactive fallout.
A large amount of low biological activity level Wasabia japonica is now grown in the ground in China and Taiwan. The product with the world’s highest level of active ingredients is grown in Clean, Green New Zealand. More information can be found at www.wasabi.org