TOKYO, JAPAN – Last week at Foodex Japan 2019, USA Rice conducted a taste-testing demonstration at the U.S. Embassy Agricultural Trade Office (ATO) booth to promote the availability and suitability of U.S. medium grain for sushi items.
More than 700 samples of inarizushi, a flavored boiled rice wrapped in fried bean curd, and a rice salad with nuts and dried fruit were tasted by those attending this, the largest food trade exhibition in Asia, and feedback was positive.
“After our booth visitors tasted the inarizushi, both traditional and a new style flavored with curry, and the rice salad, we asked if they noticed a difference between the inarizushi they usually eat and the inarizushi using U.S. medium grain rice,” said Yumi Kojima, the USA Rice contractor in Japan who attended the show. “Most said the inarizushi using U.S medium grain tasted good, and more than 92 percent of those polled said they did not find a difference between U.S. and Japanese rice-based inarizushi. Those who could discern a difference were not negative as they mentioned the light, non-sticky texture of the inarizushi using U.S. medium grain.”
“Featuring U.S. medium grain rice in sushi is our latest effort to build demand for U.S. rice under the Simultaneous Buy and Sell (SBS) system,” said Sarah Moran, USA Rice vice president international. “It is being met with wide acceptance, especially as the availability and high price of domestic medium grade rice has been a challenge for the nakashoku (deli and take-out) industry here over the past several years.”