The taste of real wasabi is like a warm explosion in your mouth that quickly fades to a lingering slightly sweet aftertaste unlike the fake wasabi substitutes made up of horseradish and mustard. Because it is so difficult to grow, even in Japan only 5% of the sushi shops serve authentic wasabi. Wasabia japonica was known in Japan as “the King of Herbs”, and has the highest level of isoflavones after soybeans. Wasabi produces much of its distinctive pungent odor and taste from complex sulphur compounds that are produced when it is crushed or grated. These compounds, found at a higher concentration in wasabi than in almost any other food, help control many destructive pathogens and give a scientific underpinning to the traditional use of wasabi as an accompaniment to eating raw fish in the Japanese diet.