There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to wasabi. The spicy paste that most people associate with sushi often leaves many people with questions about its identity.
One thing some people wonder is if wasabi is a pepper or not. Some peppers are spicy, so it makes sense that wasabi might be a pepper, after all.
We’ll answer that question for you. Keep reading to learn about wasabi classification and how spicy it is.
Quick Answer: Is Wasabi a Pepper?
Wasabi is not considered a pepper. In fact, wasabi is in an entirely different family of plants which is known as Brassicaceae. This family also includes popular foods like mustard and cabbage.
The family that most peppers are associated with is called Capsicum, which is a branch of the infamous nightshade family. Bell peppers, banana peppers, thai peppers, and habanero peppers are all examples of members of the capsicum family.
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What Kind of Spice is Wasabi?
Many spices are prepared through drying and grinding plants. Since it is possible to get wasabi powder, some may consider it a hot spice.
As for how you classify wasabi, it’s technically a vegetable. It’s in the same family of plants as broccoli and horseradish.
How Hot is Wasabi Compared to Peppers?
The spiciness of peppers is measured in Scoville Heat Units, also known as SHU. The problem is, this type of measurement applies only to peppers and not to wasabi.
For that reason, there isn’t really an empirical way of comparing the spiciness of wasabi to that of peppers. Furthermore, the spicy components in peppers and wasabi affect consumers differently.
The capsaicin in peppers will affect your tongue and throat far more, while the allyl isothiocyanate in wasabi has a greater impact on your nose, which is why some people feel it clears their sinuses. Basically, the short answer is that the heat of wasabi and peppers is too different to be accurately compared.
Is Wasabi a Chilli?
Wasabi is not a chilli. Chilli peppers come from the capcisum family, much like other peppers we discussed above.
On the other hand, wasabi belongs in its own family with other cruciferous veggies like broccoli.
Read Also: Why is Wasabi so Spicy?
Wasabi may pack a real heat-laden punch, but it’s a totally different type of heat from what you’re used to with peppers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that the two types of plants are in entirely separate families.
Which one do you think is spicier? Let us know in the comments below.