TELEVISION presenter Julia Bradbury was converted to the taste of wasabi as she visited a groundbreaking Dorset farm.
Her visit to The Watercress Company, which has now branched out to grow wasabi, will feature on BBC’s Countryfile on Sunday night.
The crew is by no means the first crew to visit the company based at Waddock Cross near Dorchester and it has already appeared on Countryfile back in January 2011.
Managing director Tom Amery said it was during the previous visit from the Countryfile crew, which on that occasion featured James Wong, that he first mentioned to them about their plans to grow wasabi and become the first European producer of the superfood.
He said: “They promised they would come back and true to their word they followed it up and they were effectively the first British television film crew to go to a wasabi farm and feature it.”
Mr Amery said the crew first visited their watercress farm before being taken to the secret location where the wasabi is grown.
He said: “We spent the day working through from planting our plants to harvesting and engraving the rhizomes and then spent some time with chef Matthew Tomkinson from Beaulieu preparing and tasting some recipes using the wasabi.”
Mr Amery admitted he was slightly apprehensive before the visit of Ms Bradbury, because he had heard that she was not a wasabi fan, but was glad that by the time she left his product had won her over.
He said: “She wasn’t a huge fan of wasabi before she came down, that was based on the fact she had had so much of this fake wasabi paste you get that’s full of horseradish.
“We were a little bit apprehensive and interested to see what she would think but she tried our wasabi paste and said it was fantastic in comparison.”
The Dorset grown wasabi has proved a major success since it was officially launched last summer and is now being shipped all over Europe.
The product has even claimed the support of renowned French chef Raymond Blanc, who successfully bid for a record breaking wasabi grown by the company in December last year.