Thai rice wins back title for best rice in the world 2016

30.11.2016

Thai Hom Mali rice has won the title of 2016 World’s Best Rice in a global contest held by The Rice Trader. It was followed by rice runners-up from Cambodia and the U.S.

But, who are they kidding? Thai rice is the best rice. American rice? C’mon. Go home Uncle Ben, you’re mushy and flavorless.

The Hom Mali rice is a jasmine rice from Thailand. It managed to regain the title of World’s Best Rice 2016 in blind taste tests by cooking experts in a global rice contest held by American organization The Rice Trader.

Thailand’s Hom Mali rice held the title of best rice for two years from 2009-2010, but it lost the title to a dark horse winner, Myanmar’s Pawsan rice, in 2011. Pawsan, which also sometimes goes by the name of Myanmar Pearl rice, has a thick and round grain which can expand by 3-4 times when cooked, and is said to retain its distinctive fragrance after cooking.

Phaka Malis rice, from Cambodia, took the title in 2012. The words Phaka Malis mean “rice of jasmine.” The Cambodian rice has many characteristics similar to Thai Hom Mali Rice due to the low use of chemical fertilizers in both rice crops, reported Thai News Bureau.

In 2013, Cambodia’s Phaka Malis rice tied with California Rose rice from California, USA. This resulted in two kinds of rice sharing the winner’s pot spot.

California Rose, or “Calrose” as it’s known to rice insiders, has medium-sized grains which look like beautiful budding roses. The rice is also called “Blue Rose,” but only when it’s grown in Louisiana. Calrose is widely cultivated in Australia and the Pacific Islands, where it would be considered a rice faux-pas to call it “Blue Rose.” Its glutinous character makes it suitable for sushi making.

In 2014, Cambodia’s other rice crop, called Phka Romdul, and Thailand’s brown Hom Mali shared the title. Then, the U.S. California Rose rice won the title in 2015.

Thankfully, on Nov. 18, in Chiang Mai, things were finally set right again when Thai Hom Mali rice regained the winner's title, followed by the fragrant rice of Cambodia, and Japonica rice from the U.S.


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