Hexagon of Tastes 


This hexagon helps you to understand and interpret the various tastes of Japanese rice. Japanese rice is such an amazing ingredient with multiple tastes, textures, aromas that it deserves a self-explanatory way to enable you to fully understand and appreciate the amazing and unique tastes of Japanese rice.


As there are nearly 300 types of Japanese rice grown, harvested and sold in Japan, there is a definite need for a simple guideline to help you navigate yourself through many different tastes, textures and aromas. Japanese cuisine is unique with its amazing repertoire of different dishes, tastes and flavours whereby the rice can greatly intensify the taste of the dish and enhance the experience of enjoying and flavouring the meal. 



Now, there are five factors that directly determine the texture and taste of rice. 

  1. The first indicator is the stickiness of the rice. Japanese is well known for its general stickiness. However, there are different levels and intensity of stickiness depending on the rice itself. The stickiness is measured from level 1 meaning mildly sticky to level 5 meaning very sticky. 
  2. The second indicator of the texture of the rice is its softness. This indicates the softness of the grain once cooked. The opposite is the hardness of the grain. Level 1 is not very soft and rather hard and level 5 is very soft not hard at all. Every single type of rice has a different softness/hardness ratio, which is very important for the rice and its combination with different dishes. 
  3. The third indicator is taste (sweetness), which indicates the intensity of sweetness you feel when you chew the rice and eat it. Level 1 means not very sweet at all and level 5 means very sweet. 
  4. The fourth indicator is aroma which shows the level and intensity of the aroma of freshly cooked rice. The level 1 is not very aromatic and 5 is very aromatic rice. 
  5. The fifth indicator is the exterior of the grain once it is cooked. And it usually refers to the glossy appearance of the rice, and how beautiful its outlook and its overall appearance once cooked.
  6. The last indicator is the overall evaluation of the rice itself. Now, Japanese rice and its quality has a very high benchmark set up not only by the farmers themselves but also by the customer who have endless option to choose from different types of rice. Therefore, there is a healthy competitive spirit among the rice farmers who strive very hard to grow and harvest the best possible rice. And the customers in Japan are very meticulous when it comes to quality of the rice, taste, texture and flavour. 

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