Iceland Mag

7 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Soon you will be able to have Icelandic grown wasabi to go with your Sushi

By Staff

The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service RÚV reports that the likelihood of wasabi being added to the many vegetables and herbs produced in Icelandic greenhouses. An experimental project “Wasabi Iceland” has received a government innovation grant to prepare and explore the production of wasabi in high-tech greenhouses in East Iceland.

According to the website of the company Wasabi Iceland, which was founded last year, the goal is to grow wasabi in hydroponically, using lava rocks to support the plants. Growing wasabi is very tricky and producers need to adhere to strict quality controls. According to RÚV the only European producer of Wasabi in Europe grows the plant outdoors, and is therefore unable to deliver fresh wasabi year-round. This offers unique opportunities to the Icelandic producer.

Wasabi is difficult to cultivate, which makes fresh wasabi very expensive. Due to this the wasabi paste people consume with sushi is generally not made from the wasabi plant, but from horseradish, mustard seeds and green food colour. Fresh wasabi is considered a rare delicacy and primarily used at fine restaurants, fetching a high price. 

Wasabi Iceland plans to plant 500 square meters (5,400 sq ft) of wasabi plants this spring. As it takes the plants a year to mature the company envisions that the first plants could be ready for the market in 2017.

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