March 4, 2013
Rice Shokumi Ranking/米の食味ランキング
Every year, the rice shokumi (taste, flavor, palatability) ranking is determined with a shokumi sensory test.
Overview of the shokumi sensory test (Japanese only)
A panel of specialists compares a sample with the reference rice according to six items:
Reference rice: Blended rice from Koshihikari rice produced in different areas
A': Roughly equivalent
Toku A: Particularly superior
B: Rather inferior
Koshihikari rice produced in Uonuma, Niigata has never missed a toku A since the ranking system started in 1989.
Mori no Kuma-san has won a toku A for three years in a row, and has received the highest score (not disclosed) this year. Mori no Kuma-san is a cross between Koshihikari and Hinohikari.
shokumi sensory test/食味官能検査の概要
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I tried to find japanese rice here (online or local shops) produced in Japan - no way. Yes, they sell koshihikari and call it japanese rice but it is all produced in the USA.
Kiki: Obviously, the sensory test is biased in favor of Koshihikari rice, and is a test by the Japanese, for the Japanese, who prefer sticky rice. If you can buy Koshihikari rice produced in the United Stated cheap, don't you think that's wonderful? Some people say that Koshihikari rice produced in California is as good as that produced in Japan.
Kiki, can you buy Koshihikari made in Italy? I buy this one and prefer it much more from what is imported from the US. (It's called Yumenishiki, very cute pink bags :-) ). A lady in my Japanese grocery shop advised it saying it's better than the US produced and she was right (of course it depends on the brand...). The worst thing is that now when I -rarely - go to a Japanese restaurant or buy some maki in my favourite self-service shop, the rice seems so bad ;-) (I think they buy the cheapest US rice, even not Koshihikari).
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