Wasabi….the Japanese Horseradish a taste more akin to hot mustard it’s definitely not for the faint hearted….but when added as a sauce it transforms sushi or other foods into flavoursome dishes.
I recently had the opportunity to meet and talk with Jon Old from The Wasabi Company UK to find out more about the fiery Japanese root that is cultivated in gravel beds near Dorchester……
How did The Wasabi Company come about and why did you choose this type of business?
The Wasabi Company was formed when a small diversification project run by our main business, The Watercress Company, grew into a sufficiently exciting opportunity to be given an identity of its own. We choose wasabi because it fitted very well with our experience of growing watercress in gravel beds with running water and because we read it had never been successfully done in Europe before.
Talk is through the process of harvesting this incredible Japanese plant.
After a minimum of 18 months the time comes to pull the whole plant and see what secrets it hides right at the base of the plant beneath the large leaves and thick stems. It is not until we break the plant apart that we can tell just how good the harvest is. Once the leaf stems have been removed the rhizome is carefully trimmed of roots and washed ready to be packed and sent out to one of our chefs, distributor parents or a consumer that has purchased from our website.
What has been your most satisfying moment at The Wasabi Company?
The proudest and most memorable moment was standing in the wasabi beds with the grow team and managers all the way up to the Chairman and tasting our first rhizome. We had forgotten to bring a grater so we had to grate it on stone from the bed but it still tasted fantastic. I never get bored of the ritual of grating the rhizomes and every time you do it for somebody for the first time the reaction is always enjoyable.
What would be your signature dish be using wasabi?
Fresh wasabi is very versatile and can accompany many dishes including all kinds of fish and meats dishes and of course you can’t beat it with top quality sushi and sashimi. If you are in a more traditionally English frame of mind, then smoked salmon canapés are a fantastic hit at parties and one of my favourites.
Excluding The Wasabi Company what business or company do you most admire?
South West Garlic Farm are a close neighbour of ours, traditional garlic farmers they were looking to add value to their products and came across black garlic. After thorough research they developed the means to produce excellent black garlic on the farm and now have a thriving business producing many different black garlic products.
Where can customers or businesses buy your products?
We sell to the public online and deliver to chefs and distributor partners all over Europe. Some of our wasabi even makes in to Dubai!
The Wasabi Company
t: 01929 463824
|Invited by PR company?||No|
|Guest of chef/restaurant/owner?||No|
|Restaurant/outlet knew ahead we were bloggers?||No|
|Was the meal complimentary from the restaurant?||No|
|Any complimentary items provided by restaurant/outlet?||No|
Pictures used with kind permission from the Dorset Wasabi Company.