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USA Rice Reaches Food Bloggers in Japan

ip-blogger taste-test in toyko classroom-140421TOKYO, JAPAN -- Earlier this month the USA Rice Federation hosted a blogger taste-test event to generate buzz about U.S. rice on Japanese social networks.  The selected bloggers are registered in "Recipe Blog," a popular portal site of cooking blogs.

The four menus tested were developed by Chef Robert Marsh, a chef originally from San Francisco who has been living in Tokyo for seven years, teaching California cuisine cooking classes.

For 2014, USA Rice is promoting a menu concept called "Cal-Bowl" to encourage consumer interest in a new usage of U.S.-grown rice.  "Donburi" is a traditional Japanese one-plate style rice bowl menu, but "Cal-Bowl" can be more versatile incorporating fresh vegetables and adjusting the proportion of rice used for the menu.

Thirty-four bloggers attended the event held in a local cooking school.  They sampled four featured dishes and chose Oven-Roasted Herb Chicken Breast with Lemon-Thyme Butter and Saffron Rice as their favorite.

"Interacting with food bloggers is an effective way to introduce a new menu concept to the general public in Japan," said John Valpey, chairman of the USA Rice International Promotion Committee.  "It has been very productive from a marketing perspective to focus on the unique qualities of U.S. rice and the food preparation techniques and recipes for which it is well adapted."

Valpey added that USA Rice would be promoting the new menu via a chef cooking contest planned for this summer, and various foodservice promotions throughout the year.

Photo caption:  This will be on the test!

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