National Rice Ball Day
Okay, it might be more profound but the sentiment is clear. At least, to us. Rice balls come in a wide range of textures and flavors. Being a rice ball means that you are the most interesting thing on the basket. Rice balls are essentially a ball made of rice. That’s not all! National Rice Ball Day will allow you to enjoy Rice Balls if you are already familiar with them. You don’t have to be a Rice Balls fan, but if you aren’t, get ready for an amazing flavor explosion that will open your eyes!
Rice balls have been an integral part of Japanese cuisine for centuries. They are also known as onigiri (a term which literally means “to hold onto”. This is a great description of how to eat this delicious snack. Rice balls can be traced back to the 11th century, when they were known as Tonjiki. They were a popular addition for picnics and lunches. This was a universal food with remarkable properties. Not least was its ability to seal tightly and protect meat.
You don’t want a cold rice ball for dinner. You don’t have to eat cold rice balls for dinner. You can make Onigiri by coating the rice with vinegar. This helps the rice to bond and form the air-tight seal mentioned earlier. However, soy sauce dissolves these bonds and creates a loose rice dish with the ingredients it has been stuffed with. You could also throw it in the frying pan to heat it up again.
All Onigiri were hand-crafted up until 1980, which made them a rare and costly treat that could only be found in Japanese restaurants. The invention of the machine to create triangular Onigiri in the 1980’s changed everything. This process has since been improved continuously, making mass-produced Onigiri more accessible to all!
Rice Ball Day is best celebrated with your favorite rice ball variety! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own rice balls! You could even host an onigiri party and ask everyone to bring their favorite varieties.