I tried reading this text on a wasabi package.

At first, I thought it said 「本わさび人りねり」 but that didn't make sense. Anyways, eventually I figured it might be 「本わさび入りねり」, so I looked up what Neri means and translated the text into "true/regular wasabi in paste".

I'd like to know if it's correct as I'm still below N5 level in Japanese and Google translate says it's "book wasabi" or something, which I don't think is true.

the wasabi package

  • 4
    It's not 「本わさび入りねり」 but 「本わさび入り+ねりわさび」. – Chocolate Jul 16 '20 at 13:58
  • 本わさび(ほんわさび)the base ingredient in a processed mix of horseradish and wasabi. This is somewhat different to the more expensive and authentic wasabi plant because it has some kind of processing to allow it to exist in tube form. It contains some real wasabi derivatives but it is often less than 50%. See here for more details.
  • 入り(いり)containing
  • ねり paste

Basically, it's a processed paste that is sold as a cheap alternative to wasabi, but it is a mixture of horseradish with smaller amounts of real wasabi.

  • 3
    Is the use of 本 in 本わさび some kind of Orwellian marketing ploy? And it seems like it would be false advertising or something... Maybe I'm just misunderstanding what I saw, but I was under the impression that 本わさび was a term used to differentiate from the horseradish products. Is it actually that insidious? – Leebo Jul 16 '20 at 11:33
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    For instance, the 名称 section of the wikipedia article seems to be saying, to me, that 本わさび is indeed genuine Japanese-produced wasabi. ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%AF%E3%82%B5%E3%83%93 – Leebo Jul 16 '20 at 11:58
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    Yes, I can see why 本わさび入り would imply a mix... but isn't 本わさび itself just real wasabi? If we're defining that term on its own. – Leebo Jul 16 '20 at 13:04
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    本わさび(ほんわさび)a processed mix of horseradish and wasabi. This is different from the more expensive and authentic wasabi plant. ← ん?「本わさび」は genuine Japanese wasabi であり、expensive and authentic wasabi plant のことですよね。 – Chocolate Jul 16 '20 at 14:46
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    It seems to me that you are ascribing some of the meaning and implications of the total expression 本わさび入り to the word 本わさび. If I put "contains real wasabi" on a package because I don't want to say "made of mostly fake wasabi" that doesn't mean the words "real wasabi" mean "fake wasabi." – Leebo Jul 16 '20 at 22:07

The label translates to "wasabi paste containing real/true wasabi"

  • 本わさび入り means "containing real/true wasabi"

  • [練り]{ねり} is often used as a prefix to mean "ground X" or "X paste" (for example ねりごま ≒ tahini) and the word here is ねりわさび (even though ねり and わさび are written in different fonts)

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