It is sad that most sushi lovers will never have real wasabi. I had assumed that I had sampled real wasabi when I spent several days eating sushi morning noon and night in Actual Japan. But even then, there is a good chance I never tasted the stuff.
The reason that most "wasabi" is fake, and the agronomy and chemistry of wasabi, turn out to be really interesting.
Must admit that I get a sort of subliminal pleasure from eating with chopsticks. I had the good fortune to visit Bali in 1982, just before they built the 5-star hotels and it became overrun by mainstream tourism. And none of the Chinese restaurants there had utensils. So out of necessity I learned how to cope with chopsticks.
Once mastered, it really is the most pleasurable way to consume oriental food. But now you tell me that the wonderful green-on-steroids wasabi I have been consuming with my sushi for the past 30+ years is... fake. I'm gutted, I tell you :-(
A friend of mine is an amazing cook, and everything he makes is a treat for the senses. However, I visited him once while he was preparing the "bitter herbs" for a Passover feast. I walked into his kitchen and he said, "Smell this," handing me the hopper from his Cuisinart. I stuck my face in and took a big whiff, discovering too late that it was freshly pureed horseradish in vinegar.
I screamed and fell to the floor. It felt like I'd taken a baseball bat to the face, driving a railroad spike into my sinuses. It was a month before I could smell anything but horseradish.
Interesting clip and article. Cheers.