A British firm claims to have become the first in Europe to successfully grow fresh wasabi.
The Wasabi Company has spent three years developing and trialling the product, and is now able to harvest its first mature rhizomes.
It said that to date the product sold in paste or powder form, in tubes, sachets or jars actually contains very little wasabi, being predominantly made up of horseradish, mustard powder and green colouring agents. Fresh wasabi is a pale green colour when the wasabi rhizome is grated and ready to eat.
Gary Jones, executive head chef at Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, said of the breakthrough: "Bloody marvellous; a small miracle, a pure, true flavour punch, wowed, magnificent, magnificent product."
Although there may be some seasonal fluctuation in availability, the firm said that fresh wasabi would be available all year round.
By James Stagg
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