Mar 11, 2016
MAKUHARI MESSE, JAPAN – USA Rice is here this week at Foodex Japan, the largest trade exhibition in Asia, conducting taste tests from the U.S. Embassy Agricultural Trade Office’s (ATO) exhibition booth for the more than 77,000 traders in attendance.
“On the first day of the show, more than 500 traders stopped by to taste rice salad and fried rice made using U.S. medium grain,” said Bill Farmer, USA Rice director of Asia programs. “We also showcased deli products in various styles of take-out packages that seemed to pique the interest of potential trade contacts.”
After sampling the menu offerings, traders were asked to fill out a quick questionnaire about whether there was a marked difference between Japanese and U.S. medium grain and if they considered the U.S. medium grain suitable for deli products. While less than half of those surveyed found a discernible difference between the two origins of rice, an overwhelming majority said the U.S. rice would definitely work in Japanese deli products. Similar to U.S. delis, Japanese delis can be located in large supermarkets or as stand-alone shops and offer a choice of pre-made and fresh made foods including bento boxes, salads, single serving seafood items, and desserts.
“We had already added a deli products category to the Professional Chef U.S. Medium Grain Rice Recipe Contest scheduled for August,” Farmer said. “And the outcome of the taste-testing questionnaire here confirmed that the new category will garner a lot of enthusiasm at the upcoming contest and help expand the use of U.S. rice for the Japanese market.”