U.S. rice makes its way to Taiwan

Sherry Chien,The China Post

The Taiwan rice market is now open to foreign competition, following the island’s entry into World Trade Organization (WTO). Consumers can now choose from rice products grown in Thailand, Japan, Australia and the United States.

The U.S. “Calrose” brand made its debut at the Taipei International Food Show in mid-June, a move experts said changed Taiwan consumers’ views toward American rice. Each individual grain of traditional American rice is long and not sticky. Calrose, on the other hand, is a genetically-enhanced Japanese brand that is popular throughout the world. Calrose currently has an 80 percent share in the California market. It tastes crispy and chewy, does not stick to teeth and the aftertaste is sweet. M-401 is another American import. It is stickier than Calrose, soft and has a slight scent. Koshihikari is one of the best Japanese short rice products. It requires a long cooking time and is the best choice for making sushi. Southern Long Grain Rice is a long-grain species grown in the southern United States. The cooked rice is loose, slightly rough and does not stick to teeth. Organic Brown Rice advertises itself as pure and not chemically polluted. Its grains are short yet fat, with fine fibers and many different kinds of vitamins and minerals.

The U.S. Rice Federation indicated that most of the U.S. rice products need not be washed before cooking as minerals and vitamins included in them might be rinsed away. The federation also taught consumers how to use microwave ovens to cook rice. The rice will be ready in five minutes by adding a suitable amount of water and a teaspoon of salt and butter into a cup of rice and cooking it in the oven at the highest temperature.