Wasabi Warning: What You're Eating Is Probably Fake

Meghan Rooney

If you're a big sushi eater (and who isn't?), the recent news surrounding your go-to green accompaniment may come as a bit of a shock. Yes, we're talking about your favorite sinus-clearing remedy, wasabi, and the fact that even the most avid of sushi eaters have probably never actually tasted the real thing. Allow us to elaborate: Hello Giggles recently shared an informative video published by the American Chemical Society, in which senior editor of Chemical & Engineering News, Sarah Everts, explains what you're really smearing on your sushi—and why wasabi is usually an imposter.

So what is the real deal? As explained in the video by Everts, the key to identifying true wasabi is if you're given the actual root to grate yourself or if the chef grates it in front of you. Don't assume that traveling to Japan will afford you the true wasabi experience, as only a minority of restaurants there serve the real root due to the fact that it's extremely difficult to cultivate and is often prone to infectious disease. That's why actual wasabi can run as high as $50 per stem, so the price serves as another key indicator.

If this is the case, what are we actually eating when we order it? Everts explains that “the wasabi most of us have eaten is a mix of European horseradish, hot mustard, and green dye." Is it bad to admit that we like it anyway?

Get more info by watching the full video below.

Does this news come as a surprise? You might be eating fake wasabi, but be sure you're using the real deal when it comes to chopsticks by purchasing this metallic set, which will help you eat your sushi in style.

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