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Winter Rice Varietal

This month's new rice - about every other month I blog about a new rice - hails from Hokkaido. I chose this part of Japan again because of its cold winter varietals.

These cold temperature resistant rice grains has lead researchers from the National Institute of Agriculture to develop newer types of rice that are even more resistant to colder temperatures - yes, even snow. The rice is called OBOROZUKI and it's been in the works for nearly 8 years now.

IMG_6481 The key ingredient in this rice is a starch compound called amylose (ăm'ə-lōs', -lōz' ), which every rice grain has but at a varying levels. Oborozuki has low-amylose whereas, say, a long grain North American rice grain would have higher amylose. What does all this mean in terms of taste and nutrition? Amylose is important in dietary circles because foods low in amylose will be broken down faster in the body as opposed to foods high in amylopectin, which is another starch compound usually combined with amylose in rice.

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As for taste, long grain high amylose rice will hold together better and is less likely to fall apart after cooking, it works better for spicy foods like Indian curry and Southeast Asian type foods. The low amylose rice is generally smaller and less flavorsome from a Western palate's point of view, but for Japanese gourmet minded people, myself included, the taste of medium Japanese style rice is the best, often times just as it is.

In North America, it’s not uncommon for Americans to add butter, pepper or even salt to their rice – long grain rice. I’ve even heard of people adding sugar and milk to their rice.

The way rice is eaten in Japan, for me, is the most commonsensical way. You steam it in a rice cooker or a traditional cooking apparatus, or even a microwave oven. This is done in order to bring out all of the natural flavors, minerals, and textures. You eat it as it is, plain, simple, and nutritious.

For this month’s featured rice you add 5 to 10% less water than usual. It also cooks faster and is very delicious.

womanjogging

Good nutrition is key to beauty. A Japanese woman should eat a bowl of white rice everyday – not brown rice.

A diet high in protein and complex amino acids is a very good thing for a woman. Good bones means good blood, so lots of calcium and minerals are essential. Japanese women should never diet because diets are dangerous and ultimately do more harm to the human body than good. Japanese women should eat full portion sizes, not tiny little bits and pieces of food.

The Japanese female body is one of the most complex living organisms in the world, over 30 million years worth of evolution and biology has created her into the delicious looking being that she is and over 200,000 years of history before she emerged from the darkness of incivility.

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