Wasabi: The Spice of Life

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Ever wonder where wasabi comes from? It seems like the bright green blob squeezed out of a tube was just always like that, a course paste. But was it? And where does it actually come from?

Wasabi is a plant of the  Brassicaceae family, which also includes horseradish and mustard. This makes sense because it has that very intense, up front flavor right as it enters your mouth. The plant that is comes from looks very odd. It has leaves and a very large looking root. But that root is actually the stem to the leaves of the plant and where the wasabi comes from. Yeah, I know that it doesn’t seem like that large, coarse root could contain a bright green paste but it does you just have to know how to get it. When making wasabi you have to use a special metal grater called a oroshigane. This grinds the stem very finely creating the course, green paste that you know as wasabi.

 
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Traditionally it comes from Japan and is known for being used alongside sushi, though there are other ways to use it. At Windchimes our chief has used this spicy paste to kick up the flavors of some food such as tuna and shrimp. The Wasabi Shrimp dish starts off very flavorful and you don’t taste the wasabi right away. Then like a cat stalking a mouse it slowly creeps up on and then pounces on your taste buds. Wasabi provides a fun food experience giving your mouth a different sensation of flavors and spice. Who knew that this stem could pack such a punch and give our food a flavor we didn’t know we needed.