No matter how many times you go out for sushi, the odds of getting served real wasabi are pretty close to zero. Wasabi is the Milli Vanilli of the food world. It's almost 100 percent fake (What? They danced). An incredible amount of "wasabi" served around the world is actually dyed horseradish with mustard.
A new video from Great Big Story looks at a wasabi farm in Japan to show how difficult the crop is to grow and why it is prohibitively expensive for most restaurants to serve. Horseradish has become an almost universal stand in because it mimics that nasal burn of wasabi. However, the flavors aren't identical. Real wasabi is served fresh, grated off the stalk and contains flavors that last longer and have a sweeter taste.
The fakery is so ubiquitous that most people have probably never had real wasabi. In 2014, The Washington Post reported that 99 percent of wasabi in America isn't real. And it's not better in Japan. There, it's estimated that 95 percent of wasabi isn't made with wasabi.