The World’s Best Rice comes in a sturdy, gold-embossed box containing six slender packages. Sold for ¥10,800 for 840 grams (that’s $95 for less than 2 pounds), it’s nearly 30 times more expensive than what you’d pay at a supermarket in Japan. The Guinness World Records named it the priciest rice on the planet in 2016. Japan’s rice milling and processing giant Toyo Rice Corporation, which sells the product mainly to well-to-do customers in Japan, the United States, and Singapore, commands the princely sum by blending several of the top-placed finalists chosen by judges in a blind tasting of the International Contest on Rice Taste Evaluation, the country’s most prestigious rice competition, which takes place each November. The winning batches are stored in temperature-controlled rooms for at least six months before the kernels are milled to remove the tawny outer bran—but never the ultrathin umami layer around the starchy core. The price is justified, Toyo Rice officials say, because you simply won’t find better-tasting short-grain white rice anywhere.
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