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If supping on sushi, watch that wasabi.

If supping on sushi, watch that wasabi

If you don't recognize the mound of green "on the side" at the sushi restaurant, it may not be wise to play the fearless forager. A horseradish-like condiment made from an Asian plant, wasabi mixed in small amounts with soy sauce is meant to titillate slumbering taste buds. But for the uninitiated, overenthusiasm could be a serious matter, says a Bronx, NY., physician in the Jan. 8 JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION.

In a letter to the editor, Daniel E. Spitzer of Montefiore Hospital reports the case of a 63-year-old man who found that first taste of wasabi overwhelming. After eating the entire wasabi serving, the diner became pale and confused and began sweating profusely. He then "staggered from the restaurant and collapsed on the sidewalk," says Spitzer, adding that "apart from developing a loathing for sushi, the patient suffered no untoward long-term effects." But Spitzer cautions that such profound physiological responses could be serious in patients with weak blood vessels in the brain or heart. He proposes that "unseasoned diners ... be told to watch the wasabi."
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Title Annotation:condiment can cause severe physiological reaction
Publication:Science News
Date:Jan 16, 1988
Words:185
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