Mental Floss

Everything you ever wanted to know about wasabi


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