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The Best & Real Japanese Wasabi is from Izu Peninsula, Japan

On the Izu Peninsula in Central Japan, lies mount Amagi which is mistaken for a mountain but in fact is a series of volcanoes.  The highest mountain peak in the range is named Bansaburodake is 1400 m high.  The area receives humid winds from the Pacific Ocean and a high amount of rain (3000mm a year) creating a rich and spectacular landscape.

It has some of the best looking forests and has the best view of Mount Fuji.  It is very popular amongst locals and tourists especially for those who enjoy hiking as they are many routes to the summit.  You will find many resorts and hot springs.

Izi Peninsula, Mt. Amagi Map location

This landscape is perfect for growing wasabi (the real stuff) and it is in this area, where some of the best wasabi comes from.  You will find many wasabi farms located along the Kano River that flows around Mount Amagi. 

Wasabi Farm in Izi Penisula, Mount Amagi

In the surrounding areas, they are many local dishes that have wasabi as an ingredient providing a slight kick and aromatic flavor.  Some farms will offer to sell Fresh Wasabi from the field and is cheaper than purchasing anywhere else in Japan.  Purchasing real wasabi outside of Japan is very expensive.  In the states it can go for a hundred dollars per LB.

Real Wasabi from Izi Penisula, Mount Amagi

The best way to use real wasabi is to grate it using a sharkskin grater.  This will release the flavor but most importantly the aroma.  It isn’t as strong as the fake tube version but the fragrant and aroma is the key in enjoying real wasabi.

The stems and leaves have a bitter taste to it.  It is recommend cooking it with some salt and consuming it like any other vegetable.  The bitterness will settle and the beautiful aroma is release.  It will have a slight kick flavor that wasabi is known for.

Sources

Courtesy of https://www.reddit.com/user/ukatama

Images http://imgur.com/a/5aJjU

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