Why is Yukiwakamaru rice special?
The younger brother to Tsuyahime, the Yukiwakamaru rice variety stands on equal footing with it as the flagship rices of Yamagata prefecture (山形県). Similarly, it is well regarded for its excellent taste and quality.
It is well known for its light and elegant texture loved by those who enjoy having multiple servings of rice in one meal. Its mouthfeel allows one to discern each individual grain with a good level of elasticity. Aficionados of this variety speak to its balance between stickiness and firmness which results in a new combination never seen before in other rice varieties.
Yukiwakamaru’s name and logo design concept
The name “Yukiwakamaru” was chosen to reflect the rice’s masculinity, demonstrated through its solid grain and plant shape, and its striking white, snow-like appearance. The name also pays homage to this similarity in appearance between Yukiwakamaru and another rice variety called Tsuyahime, which was born in Yamagata Prefecture prior to Yukiwakamaru and is therefore seen as its older sibling. The snowy climate of Yamagata Prefecture, which is rich in water, was believed to have brought blessings to the rice.
For the logo design, it represents the theme of “Japan’s energy from the dining table.” The red circle symbolizes Japan, while the small green circle depicts a rice bowl filled with rice. The happy faces of a family gathered around the dining table are also incorporated into the design to highlight the importance of food in bringing people together.
Yukiwakamaru’s Japanese Grain Inspection Association Ranking
In an equally impressive feat to Tsuyahime, Yukiwakamru rice has achieve the highest rating of Special A (特A) every year since it’s debut. It debuted 8 years after Tsuyahime rice first entered the market.
How does Yukiwakamaru rice taste?
We recommend reading our article on how rice is evaluated in Japan and our in depth discussion on how rice selection charts work to better understand this section.
Just as how Yukiwakamaru rice is promoted, we found that it had quite a unique combination of textures. While being on the ever so slightly lighter side, it is not very sticky, which allows it to maintain a level of firmness.
This is in contrast to its sister variety, Tsuyahime which is slightly softer to the bite (but still considered firm) and is much more springy and a little sweeter. It’s not inaccurate to say that Yukiwakamaru rice is a more masculine rice compared to its feminine counterpart.
This rice can best be enjoyed with vegetable dishes, our favorite being vegetable tempura or chestnut rice.