For those who are into Japanese food, wasabi is something that is always appreciated with the rest of the meal. Wasabi is a plant that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, the same plant family that includes cabbages, mustard, and horseradish. You can buy wasabi in its original form – as a root – or as a paste, which can be consumed as is. These days, you can even buy wasabi in powdered form, which is even more convenient. If you have ever tasted the real thing, however, you would know the difference between that and the powdered stuff, which is quite nasty. Some people would only touch the real thing – the connoisseurs.
There is this kind of wasabi, however, that even the most discerning of people have given it a thumbs up. There is a group of farmers from northern Tasmania in Australia who grow a special kind of wasabi. Instead of the traditional way of growing the plant, they grow their wasabi hydroponically. The Tasmanian wasabi was actually featured in a festival in Japan.
The festival was called the Taste of Tokyo and it featured the produce of Steven Welsh and his partners. So why do they grow their wasabi hydroponically? Welsh says that the method increases the quality of the wasabi as well as increase the output. It seems that the quality is indeed very good as it impressed Sydney chef Tetsuya Wakuda. He was so impressed that he brought the wasabi to the festival in Tokyo.