New for Spring 2014
Wasabia japonica 'Daruma' A pungent delight seldom available to the home gardener. Even at sushi establishments and specialty grocers, 'wasabi' pastes most often derive their spicy kick from horseradish and mustard. So these pastes lack the nuanced flavor of true wasabi: an intense, aromatic heat that quickly subsides, giving way to a smooth, sweet finish that lingers. Though chefs use any and all parts of the plant, it is prized for its root, or rhizome, which is grated and served as a ubiquitous condiment for sushi and noodle dishes in its native Japan. Wasabi has now found its way into a broader range of culinary applications, lending zing to traditional sauces, dressings, rubs, cocktails, even ice cream! Roots command up to $100 per pound here in the states, but a few specialty growers and new research from the Pacific Northwest Extension have shown promise for stateside gardens. Our hardy, disease-resistant 'Daruma' selection is propagated from disease-free tissue cultures. Attractive plants have heart-shaped to round foliage and will provide harvests of delicious, high quality, thick green roots and multiple plant divisions after 2 years. Complete growing instructions included. Requires a shaded spot, light, well-drained soil rich in organic matter, and frequent watering. Larger-scale, semi-aquatic cultivation is also possible to match the highest-grade wasabi, traditionally grown in diverted mountain streambeds. Not the easiest crop to grow, but very rewarding for the gardener who loves a challenge or anyone who wants to experience this authentic flavor sensation.
Available only within the contiguous US.
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