Believe it or not, the consumption of domestic rice is decreasing in Japan over the past few decades. It is due to adoption of the various life style mainly influenced by the western culture. Bread has become a popular staple food on our plate, while it is made of wheat flour often imported from other countries.
This has been feared by many who suggest that the negative effect will bring no growth in the rice market; therefore, the traditional rice production will be forced to cut down drastically.
To ease this concern, many producers are suggesting alternative ways to enjoy rice to boost the consumption. In Tazawako area, for example, new rice products such as Tazawako B-men (thick noodle made of Akita rice) has been popular as an ingredient, as well as a rice-accompanied dish like Jindai Curry.
|Akita Komachi Brown Rice / Hanjuro's Oyaki (Pan-Fried Mochi) / Jindai Curry / Tazawako B-Men Noodle |
(Clockwise from top left)
To fuel the boom, a Japanese leading manufacturer, SANYO, has released a groundbreaking invention: “GOPAN,” Rice Bread Cooker, which allows the home bakers create bread from rice directly – yes, from the whole grains!
This product has been extremely popular (sold more than 160,000 in the first year) for its easiness to bake fresh bread with our most handy ingredient, rice. This machine automatically does everything from milling, kneading, rising, and baking. All you have to do is to wash the 220mg rice!
To save more troubles, JA Zenno Akita has just announced specially-packaged rice product for this almighty machine. Each package contains exactly 220mg Akita Komachi grains and they are even prewashed!
|Miss Akita Komachi Pagents promoting "Komachi de Gopan" at the press conference.|
How could it be more convenient than this!?
A box of "Komachi de Gopan" contains 10 packages is only 2,700 Yen and available on the website of JA Zenno Akita, whose aim is to achieve 20,000 boxes in a year. Soon, they will start marketing in grocery stores in Metropolitan area.