Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mori no Kuma-san Rice

I didn't eat any rice for three whole months while participating in our family's Biggest Loser diet contest. This Mori no Kuma-san (Bear from the Forest) rice was on sale at Marukai sometime last month, and the write-up sounded so good and I was so hungry for rice that I bought a bag to help celebrate the end of the contest. This small 4.4 pound bag cost me about $15.


I liked it a lot. I later found out that it had actually been chosen as best rice in Japan in 2013:

Among the varieties of rice available in Japan, koshi hikari is generally held to be the best-tasting. This variety was crossbred with hino hikari, a type of rice grown in Kumamoto and awarded the prefecture’s highest award for flavor in 2001, to produce a new breed called Mori no Kuma-san, or “bear from the forest”.

On Feb. 14, 2013 the Japan Grain Inspection Association announced the results of its annual rice taste test. Of the 128 rice varieties inspected, 29 were given the highest grade of ‘Special A’, including 7 from Kyushu—a record for the island. The highest scoring rice was Kumamoto’s Mori no Kumasan Rice, and two other Kyushu rice brands, Hinohikari (Kumamoto) and Sagabiyori (Saga), were part of a three-way tie for second place. 

Unfortunately, it hasn't gone on sale again, and the regular price is too expensive.

I found this Japanese YouTube video about the rice, in case you're interested in finding out more about it.  Sorry, no English.


Honolulu Aunty said...

Dat's some expensive rice! Hooooo!

I asked Manabu's (musubi place in Makiki) what kind rice they use - they use Tamanishiki short grain rice. To me, their musubi's had perfect rice. My Thai friend who is a really good cook tried it their musubi, and I bought the Tamanishki rice on sale and we made rice. Wasn't quite as good, so she said put little bit less water than the line on the pot. Made a nice difference, but your Bear rice must be better.

In the beginning of July, Shirokiya used to bring in a village that had their own rice and the sold musubis - expensive musubis but they were ONO! Small bag of rice was big bucks. I never bought the rice - what if I mess up?

Leslie's pics said...

I woulda bought it just cause the bag was cute!!! But holy cow!! $43.99 for an 11 lb bag?!?!

Anonymous said...

j: how does it taste? is it worth it? what made it different? I'd love to try it but only on sale. -N

Julie said...

Wow, that is so expensive for a small bag! Premium quality for sure though!
Cute bear packaging! Enjoy every grain of it!

Mark Shelby said...

I get my rice at the $.99 cent store. Maybe that's my problem. ; )

jalna said...

I looooove Manabu's musubi, Aunty. That's a good tip about little less water. I'll start doing that.

So cute yah, Les . . . the bear eating one musubi!

N, I don't think it's the taste for me. I no more da refined palate. I think for me it's a texture thing. Perfect moisture content and starchiness. I liked it so much that I even ate it with just a little salt sprinkled on it and no other okazu so as not to distract from its perfectness. But I must add that I never splurged on Tamaki Gold or any other "expensive" rice before, so they might be just as good.

For real yah, Julie . . . expensive!

Hahahahaha . . . could be, Mark!

Mark Shelby said...

I just tried to look up the brand, and it's called Pampa long grain rice. I found this fun video showing the brand. She is making Spanish rice. Now I want to try this to go along with my home made tacos! They don't seem to have a website. So I used this video to show you the package. But the recipe is fun!

Kay said...

I really love the mixed grain rice at Mamayas. I wish I knew where you could get it.

By the way, I went to a rummage sale on Saturday. I forgot how much fun it is! Now I'm wanting to go to another one.

jalna said...

Thanks Mark. I gotta check it out later. Getting ready for work right now.

Kay, makes me happy to know that you enjoyed a rummage sale! I did a post on mixed-grain rice awhile back. It's probably not the same but maybe something to look into:

mmiissee said...

Did I really see the tag showing $43.99 for an 11 pound bag rice?

jalna said...

Crazy price yah, Mmiissee!

Erick said...

Wow, I can buy 4 18# bags of Hinode on sale.

Unknown said...

it's on sale now @ Marukai till 03/27. 4.4 lbs for $15 and 11 lbs for $35. :-)
Miss y'all @ HDR!

jalna said...

I did get a small bag, Unknown! Who are you?