TOKYO, JAPAN - U.S. medium grain rice stole the show at a taste-testing event last week that was hosted by "Yummy-san", a popular food specialist and blogger. Yummy-san devised twelve innovative "Cal-Bowl" menus for a recipe book published by USA Rice earlier this year to great success. The twenty-seven bloggers in attendance were given the opportunity to sample three recipes from the book "Cobb Salad Bowl," "Spicy Salad Bowl of Salsa Rice," and "Gazpacho Soup Bowl."
The event drew high-profile speakers and attendees, including Mr. Evan Mangino, deputy director of the U.S. Embassy Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) in Tokyo, who gave an opening speech to kick off the festivities. Yumi Kohima, a representative for USA Rice, made a brief presentation on U.S.-grown rice and the Cal-Bowl menu concept. Attendees were provided with facts and nutritional information that highlighted the allure of American rice. Yummy-san also showcased the versatility of U.S. grown rice by conducting cooking demonstrations of the Cobb Salad Bowl and the Salsa Rice Bowl.
A taste-testing of the four menus followed. California rice farmer Michael Rue was on hand representing the USA Rice Federation and with Mangino and Yummy-san, interacting with the participants to provide additional information about American rice.
"Attendees experienced firsthand the appeal of U.S.-grown rice and were extremely impressed with the Cal-Bowl menus," said Michael Rue. "This event provides great exposure to a targeted group of tech-savvy people who will spread the word about U.S. rice on their blogs, extending our promotion efforts to a considerably wider audience."
To encourage the bloggers to actually try their own Cal-Bowl creations at home, participants were given a 400 gram sample of U.S. medium grain, the recipe book, and a small bowl. Attendees also filled out a survey designed to gauge their response to the Cal-Bowl menus they sampled.
The event went viral with many of the bloggers endorsing U.S.-grown rice on their websites. USA Rice is planning to continue conducting various consumer activities in an effort to promote the "Cal-Bowl" salad style this summer in Japan and the blogs featuring Cal-Bowl menus will aid promotion efforts.
Contact: Bill Farmer (832) 302-6710