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  • So, one time, when I was 12, I was grounded because I convinced my friend's little sister to eat a whole spoon of this.

  • She believed it was smashed avocado.

  • We knew, or at least we thought, it was wasabi.

  • But many, many years later, I have come to learn that, technically, we could've both been wrong.

  • Yeah, it turns out [that] the spicy green paste you get in sushi restaurants isn't actually wasabi at all.

  • It's horseradish and green food dye.

  • Real wasabi, Japanese wasabi, is actually kind of rare and expensive, even in Japan.

  • So horseradish and wasabi are part of the same produce family.

  • Brasicatha... brasikatuh... brazzer... Jack, just put the word on the screen. [Brassicaceaea]

  • Think of them more as cousins than siblings.

  • With one cousin being way more fussy to grow than the other.

  • Given I have neglected every plant child I've taken on, I am turning to Esme Atkinson for advice.

  • She's from Shima Wasabi, Australia's largest commercial wasabi crop.

  • So Esme, why is wasabi so hard to grow outside of Japan?

  • Wasabi is very prone to disease.

  • It needs clean air, it needs pure water, and it needs a cool climate.

  • And it can take 18 months to grow.

  • Did we mention it was fussy?

  • Now Esme, I am somewhat of a committed plant mother myself.

  • If I want to grow wasabi at home, what can I do?

  • Is there a list? Some tips?

  • Can't really share any secrets, other to say, you would struggle to grow it yourself.

  • Ahhh, so you've got a secret locked away there.

  • So, really, what are we missing out on that?

  • I mean, they look the same, surely they must taste the same.

  • The flavor's certainly different.

  • Wasabi is a much sweeter flavor.

  • It's quite delicateyou still get the heat, but it dissipates quite quickly.

  • Armed with the knowledge that, until this point, my life had basically been a lie,

  • and my entire sushi train experience quite possibly a load of fake news,

  • I had to double check Esme's claims, and there was really only one way to do it.

So, one time, when I was 12, I was grounded because I convinced my friend's little sister to eat a whole spoon of this.

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B1 US wasabi grow horseradish fussy sushi flavor

What's really in your wasabi?

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    Hiro posted on 2019/05/31
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