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Irish Wasabi gets the green light for foodservice industry

McCormack Family Farms will supply Irish wasabi at a commercial scale for the first time in Ireland. The distinctive Japanese plant, which is notoriously difficult to grow, will now be available in large quantities for use in Irish restaurants and by food processors.

Working closely with plant-based food and crop development specialists Beotanics, McCormack Family Farms was able to secure a supply of premium quality and a sustainably grown strain of wasabi from Japanese breeding lines, which were developed to be suitable for the Irish climate.

Stephen McCormack, Managing Director McCormack Family Farms, said: "We are always looking for new innovations that we can bring to our farm and to market, and so we are delighted to announce that we will be supplying premium Irish-grown wasabi to foodservice customers all over the country. Wasabi is one of the most challenging crops to cultivate and harvest, so it took a many years to get things just right. We know that chefs are always looking for unique and seasonal ingredients to elevate their menus, and we look forward to being able to provide this much sought-after ingredient from a sustainable and quality local source."

Irish Wasabi
Wasabi is a member of the brassica family, known primarily for its enlarged stem, sometimes referred to as a Rhizome. This is traditionally prepared into a paste and served as a condiment, however, all parts of the plant are edible and have favorable culinary uses. 

Sourcing wasabi paste in Ireland has had a potted history, with inconsistencies prevalent in product quality. Artificial colorings or other ingredients often are added to bulk out products available.

The edible parts of the wasabi plant are available at different times of the year: The Wasabi flower is available from February to March, and the Petiole (stem that holds the baby leaf) is in season from March-May, and October – November. After 18 months, the Rhizome (stem) is ready to harvest.

Pat Fitzgerald, founder of Beotanics said: "We are delighted to be working with the team at McCormack Family Farms in bringing this very important herb to a wide network of chefs and food professionals. The initial feedback we have received from product trials in Ireland and across Europe has been incredibly positive. This collaboration fits our model precisely as we both share the same Irish family farm values and traditional farming backgrounds while also seeking to diversify into new and unique opportunities within our respective and complementary fields."

Beotanics Irish Wasabi will be presented by McCormack Family Farms at Catex (C9), in Ireland, which returns to the RDS, Dublin, 21st - 23rd February. 

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