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Calrose Rice


TAPrice
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So I meant to buy basmati rice at our local Middle Eastern market. Not until I dumped two cups into saffron infused water did I realize that I actually had "calrose rice (riz masri)." The market adds its own generic label to the bulk items, and I bought the wrong type of rice by accident.

What exactly do I have here. It's a short grain rice that looks similar to arborio or paella rice. It seems to be very starchy.

Will it work for paella? Should I handle it differently?

Edited by TAPrice (log)

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

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Calrose rice

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Calrose Rice is the most recognized variety of rice in the United States and abroad, especially in the Pacific. In Hawaii, Guam and other islands, Calrose rice accounts for more than 90% of the rice consumed. The variety is grown in other areas of the world where it is suited to growing conditions, such as Australia.

After cooking, Calrose rice grains hold flavor well, and are soft and stick together, making it good for use in sushi.

Calrose was once a much sought-after variety in parts of Asia, where it was considered exotic. There was even a black market for the variety and it was smuggled in large quantities. This is not the case in South Korea, where consumers prefer Asian varieties. The odor and taste of Calrose is said to be disagreeable, and its lower moisture level can lead to drying and cracking in the grains, which prevents the cooked rice from taking on the shiny, rounded look valued in other varieties.

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What exactly do I have here. It's a short grain rice that looks similar to arborio or paella rice. It seems to be very starchy.

Calrose is actually a medium grain rice. A true short grain rice would be something like Koshihikari or Akitakomachi (Japanese varieties that are also farmed in California).

http://www.calrice.org/b6a_medium.htm

More than 90 percent of the rice grown in California consists of medium grain variety. Calrose and "New Variety" are grown in the Sacramento valley which boasts crystal clean water from the Sierras and a Mediterranean climate of warm days and cool nights.

Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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I'm no rice expert and I would suggest you check out this topic or this one.

I use hitomobore for sushi, and I was once told by a customer that Calrose included talc. I have no confirmation of that. But I have always assumed calrose was a poor man's sushi rice since its more readily accessible at the grocery store.

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But I have always assumed calrose was a poor man's sushi rice

That is pretty much correct in a nutshell. Calrose rice is a medium grain rice, and Japanese eat short grain rice varieties. I would expect a "quality" ("picky" if you prefer) Japanese restaurant to use short grain rice, and the rest to use medium grain varieties due to price/availability.

It wasn't always that way. When I was growing up, the medium grain rices (Kokuho Rose) were the only ones available commercially in North America, so that's what Japanese restaurants served and Japanese families ate.

If anybody is interested about the subject of Californian grown Japanese ("sushi") rice, there is a thread here:

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showto...23entry955723

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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