SHANGHAI, CHINA – Last week, USA Rice participated in the Food and Hotel China 2015 international exhibition here. The U.S. delegation, including John Valpey of American Commodity Company, Kevin McGilton of Riceland Foods, Ken La Grande and Steve Vargas of Sun Valley Rice Company, and Derek Alarcon of Farmers’ Rice Cooperative, met with importers, distributors, and retailers. Two of the key meetings were with COFCO (China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation) and Wal-Mart.
This was USA Rice’s second consecutive year at the show and new for this year was a professional chef’s preparation of five different rice dishes for sampling using five different varieties of U.S. rice each day. The chef, Richard Ong Kahloo, formerly executive chef at the JC Mandarin Shanghai, and now a food consultant, gave high marks to U.S. varieties he was using.
“Calhikari, as steamed rice, keeps a long time without getting soft and is very good at absorbing the sauces from the meat and vegetables in the dish,” Kahloo said. “I used Calrose in a seafood congee dish and liked that it gets sticky quickly. And finally, U.S. Jazzman long grain rice is now my favorite rice for cooking stir-fry. Normally cooked rice for stir-fry should be cooled down after it is cooked, but with Jazzman, it can be used immediately.”
Participation at food shows has helped introduce U.S. rice to the Chinese rice trade in advance of having a protocol agreement for the commercial importation of rice into the country which has been in the works for years and is expected soon.