Mental Floss

Everything you ever wanted to know about wasabi

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I'm currently traveling in Japan, and since I've subjected you dear people to seven Armchair Field Trips in the last two weeks, I think instead I'll let you see for yourselves what I've been seeing, via pictures (mine) and links (from elsewhere). First up: the wasabi fields of the Izu peninsula, about three hours south of Tokyo.

* Loads of good wasabi trivia here (caveat emptor: as you'll already know from our magazine, "many, if not most, of the brands of wasabi powder and wasabi paste are actually fakes and consist mainly of colored horseradish")

* The history of wasabi farming

* The story of an Izu wasabi farmer, from a popular Japanese English-language magazine

* An essay on wasabi cultivation, written by an American journalist 

* Wasabi's relationship to sushi

* And, apropos of very little, a favorite wasabi-flavored song of mine, by the Japanese-American pop group Cibo Matto 

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