- “General” (eating or table) rice
Ippan-mai (literally, “general rice”), is eating rice, and is distinguished from “brown rice for sake brewing” under the Agricultural Products Inspection Law. Such strains are relatively small-grained, and very rarely show the white opaque centre (shinpaku) typical of brewer’s rice. Such varieties are used as raw materials for brewing however, especially as kake-mai.
Formerly, eating rice strains widely used for brewing included Oseto (オオセト), Nihonbare (日本晴), Nakate-shinsenbon (中生新千本) and Kinmaze (金南風), but recent years have seen a trend where such well-known table rice strains as Koshihikari, Hitomebore, Haenuki and Akitakomachi are increasingly used in brewing. Such eating rice can be bought more cheaply than true brewer’s rice, and is mainly used for less expensive “regular” sake (futsu-shu, long second “u”) .
Pictures: table rice Kinuhikari and large-grained true brewer’s rice strains Yamada Nishiki and Omachi.