Did you know the world’s most expensive vegetable — the Japanese wasabi — is grown in Ireland?
notoriously challenging to cultivate, Wasabi has been carefully nurtured in a garden just outside Tandragee in County Armagh. Bord Bia will launch it over the June bank holiday weekend.
Wasabi is a member of the brassica family, grown primarily for its enlarged underground stem, sometimes referred to as a rhizome. Demand for Wasabi outstrips supply globally. As a result, there are now many “wasabi” products, including faux wasabi paste made from horseradish.
Early morning check on our wasabi crop now starting to harvest for our @goatsbridge @beotanics Amayonnaising production collaboration. Watch out for the launch of this great product @BordBiaBloom @Bordbia June Bank Holiday #wasabi #Ireland #local #fresh #realwasabi pic.twitter.com/GuIIg5zlZ0— IrishWasabi (@IrishWasabi) May 10, 2022
The traditional sushi accompaniment is typically grown in mountain streams of its native Japan and is worth a cool one point five mil an acre. With the growth in popularity of Asian food in Ireland, this seems like a smart move from the father sone team behind the farm.
The first written record of wasabi is believed to be from the first Japanese medical encyclopaedia 918AD – stating that the crop had been grown in Japan for at least a thousand years. Two cultivation methods are used for producing commercial wasabi, soil-grown wasabi (Oka) and water grown wasabi (Sawa).
Using real Wasabi ensures compliance and brings simplicity and authenticity to package labelling. Wasabi contains a high concentration of glucosinolates which are converted to isothiocyanates (ITCs) when damaged. This is Wasabi’s natural defence system in action – and where its antioxidant power comes from. Wasabi petioles and leaves can also be consumed and possess similar gustative qualities to the wasabi rhizome.
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