A single grain of rice can be a lens into examining the surprisingly diverse world of the humble yet universally important food crop. In Japan, there is a deep appreciation for the subtle differences in taste, texture, aroma, and quality in regional varieties of rice, and recognizing these distinctions can be an experience that engages all the senses.
Since 1971, the Japan Grain Inspection Association has conducted rice taste sensory tests on a national scale, ranking each regional variant through rigorous scientific assessment to determine the best tasting rice every year. (*) This workshop features a lecture led by the National Agricultural Research Organization of Japan (NARO) in which participants will learn about Japanese short-grain rice and its regional variants, and the best way to cook rice and how to pair side dishes to complement its flavor.
Following the lecture, participants will join in a professional-level sensory test of rice, sampling four types of cooked white rice. Participants will also receive a souvenir as a small token of appreciation to take home.
No prior experience necessary. Please note all minors must be accompanied by an adult or guardian.
* In each trial, a particular rice variety is set as the control group and test samples are compared. A sample especially better in quality is graded ‘A+,’ a sample of slightly better quality ‘A,’ and a sample generally equivalent to the control group ‘A-.’ Rice of a slightly lesser quality are graded ‘B’ or ‘B-’ after which the results are made public.