Imitation vs. Authentic Wasabi
Contrary to popular belief, the pungent green paste that most people associate with Wasabi is not the Japanese herb Wasabia japonica but rather an imitation product based on horseradish, Chinese mustard and artificial food colouring.
The Japanese, Koreans and Chinese export horseradish-based products as 'wasabi' because in Japanese, horseradish is known as 'seiyo' or 'western' wasabi. When horseradish was first introduced to Japan, the Japanese called it 'seiyo' wasabi because it's pungency is similar to Wasabia japonica. This is part of the reason why green coloured horseradish is now being exported from Japan under the 'wasabi' name.
Fresh authentic Sawa-Wasabi is a highly prized culinary ingredient reputably used mainly in elite restaurants and sushi bars in Japan. The rhizome (root-like stem) is finely grated to produce a light green creamy paste that creates a fragrant peppery flavour that quickly dissipates, leaving a lingering smooth sweet taste with no burning sensation. Even in high class restaurants in Japan, the true Wasabia japonica is extremely difficult to find in any restaurant, as they use the cheaper fake imitation wasabi powder instead.
World Wasabi Inc (was New Zealand Wasabi Limited) has developed proprietary growing methodologies since 1990 to cultivate high-quality Sawa-Wasabi in their own controlled greenhouse environments for the high-end culinary and nutraceutical markets.
Our Sawa-Wasabi is grown primarily for the nutraceutical and natural product markets for its bioactive compounds.
The demand for fresh and 100% Pure Sawa-Wasabi powders consistently exceeds the supply.
Our food grade 100% Pure Wasabia japonica freeze dried powder is sold under the brand name Namida. This means tears and it lives up to its billing.
Our mission is to provide a steady supply of high quality 100% Pure Wasabia japonica powders to the culinary and nutraceutical markets.
You can get a free copy of the Wasabi List here, which lists the ingredients in 73 different wasabi powders currently on the market. Check what you are buying against this list.
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