California rice harvest

California rice loaded in trailers and ready to be trucked to storage and further processing.

Calrose rice 'world's best' in international competition

California typically grows over 500,000 acres of rice annually Rice varieties are developed at the California Rice Experiment Station California rice exports in 2012 were valued at $668 million

California’s Calrose rice was recently honored at the World Rice Conference in Malaysia with the “World’s Best Rice” award.

According to the California Rice Exchange, a licensed broker and commission merchant company based in Durham, Calif, the significance of the award is seen in that it beat out a foreign competitor that was the reigning champion of the past three years.

“This win is a result of over 100 years of variety development by the California Rice Experiment Station, coupled with top-notch farming practices and an excellent warehousing and milling system,” said Jeremy Zwinger, president and chief executive officer of The Rice Trader.

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Calrose is a medium-grain white rice that originated in California. California is the second-largest rice growing state in the nation. The state’s 2,500 rice farmers produce about 2.5 million tons of rice annually.

A panel of experts and international chefs judged the rice entries. One of the chefs, according to the CDFA, was Matthew Teruo Sato of Sacramento’s Ten22 restaurant. Sato recently won the “Lord of Rice” culinary competition.

Typically more than 550,000 acres of rice is grown within 100 miles of Sacramento, Calif., making it a significant contributor to local economies and state export dollars as much of the rice is exported to international markets.

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