Wasabi – The War in your mouth

Many lovers of Japanese cuisine will agree that wasabi sure is something. Many love it, many hate it and there were even movies made of it. My first time I tasted it was war. No really, it was war but I loved it.

Imagine you find this green paste, artistically placed on your very first sushi plate. At first you think it is a garnish and your friends look at you all knowingly, some with an evil glint in the eye and dare you to taste it. Clumsily you pick-up your chopsticks and you manage to get a piece of wasabi onto the sticks after ruining the nicely displayed lump of wasabi. Distrusted in your friends you sniff it and a beautiful aroma enters your nose that reminds you of something nice. “This does not smell so bad,” you think and you stick the lump of wasabi in your mouth…

There is an explosion of flavour in your mouth and a slight sting starts until it expands into a burning sensation from the very fiery depths of hell. Your face reddens and you can’t talk. Your eyes plead to your now laughing friends for water and you try to re-invent sign language in order for them to rescue you from the burning sensation. Some one hands you water and instead of the water taking out the fire, it feeds the flames in your mouth.

When the war in you mouth is over you realize that wasabi is actually very tasty. And you eat some more. The war begins anew.

What is this weapon of war called wasabi? Wasabi is part of the Brassicaceae family making cabbages, horseradish and mustard his relatives, and is also called Japanese horseradish by some (real Japanese horseradish however is a plant that are often used for a wasabi substitute in Japanese cuisine). Wasabi’s hotness is more related to very hot mustard that chilies and you will taste the difference when you try it. It is a plant that grows naturally along stream-beds in mountain river valleys in Japan and the Japanese are quite passionate about this plant as ingredient in their dishes.

As usual we have a few articles and videos to show you relating to wasabi.

If you want a guide on making wasabi and preparation tips, follow this link: http://goo.gl/zB4NWK

This video shows us how fresh wasabi looks before it is turned into a paste: http://goo.gl/nMHEfw

This video teaches us the differences between real wasabi and fake wasabi: http://goo.gl/U2ezEu

There are only 4 wasabi farms in North America and this video explores the one in Oregon. It is very interesting: http://goo.gl/Pi2Uyn

Lastly we give you the trailer of the Luc Besson movie, Wasabi. Like Luc Besson’s Transporter movies and his French Taxi-trilogy movies, this movie is quite a ride of enjoyment. Have a look at this: http://goo.gl/yFYwJC