Whether it’s your favorite part of your sushi spread or just a garnish to you, wasabi is ever-present in sushi dining experiences. It’s flavorful and delicious with a delicate threshold of pleasure to pain. Even though you’ve likely eaten it many times, there may be some surprising facts about wasabi you may not know.
Wasabi comes from a plant… and it’s very difficult to grow.
Wasabi can be traced back to 10th-century Japan. The plant (Wasabia japonica) grows in cool, mountain stream beds and grows best in 46-70 degrees. However, it can’t survive in direct sunlight. The combination of these factors make it tricky to get right. Some growers have emerged in Taiwan, China, the U.S. and beyond, but it is still considered scarce. Because it’s so hard to acquire, often...
Wasabi bought in stores is usually not real wasabi.
Despite being able to acquire real wasabi at specialty markets and upscale dining restaurants, most of the wasabi available to us in the United States is a faux wasabi made from Chinese mustard, horseradish, and food coloring.
Wasabi is good for us!
Though you likely aren’t consuming large quantities of wasabi (or maybe you are… but is your nose okay?), the little amount you might consume does give you a boost of anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It also provides potassium, calcium, and vitamin C.
Wasabi also is a powerful insecticide and bacteriocide because of the allyl isothiocyanate found in its make-up.
Wasabi is a member of the cabbage family
Wasabi stems from the Brassicaceae family! Other foods found in this category include cabbage, horseradish, and mustard.
Wasabi pairs with popcorn
Okay so this “fact” may only have been proven by our Opopop taste testers, but we stand behind it 100%. We just re-released our fan-favorite Wasabi Flavor Wrapped Kernel flavor! Get yours here.