Wasabi is a root plant with a pleasant aroma and a sharp, fiery flavour. In early 17th century Japan, it became a popular accompaniment to sushi, promoting the spread of its cultivation. Wasabi is available fresh, and can be grated like horseradish, as a paste or in powder form. It is also mixed with soy sauce and used as a condiment with sashimi and sushi. When used for seasoning, wasabi stimulates the appetite and is also known to prevent food poisoning.