Thailand’s jasmine fragrant rice named world champion

Thailand’s signature jasmine fragrant rice has won the title of the world’s best rice at the annual World Rice Conference organized by a United States-based publication.

This win was the sixth time in 12 years that Thailand’s “hom mali,” or jasmine fragrant, has taken top honors. The victory should boost Thailand’s exports of the grain and its entire rice trading industry, said Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit. The award is a point of pride among Thais because rice is intertwined with Thai culture.

Hom mali is characterized by long and slender grains with a slightly pointed tip at one end. It gives off a jasmine-scented aroma, has a smooth, tender texture, and is fluffy after cooking. It is undeniably delicious. Gourmets and leading chefs on several continents have praised for its quality.

Hom Mali helped make Thailand the world’s leading rice exporter for many decades, although most rice Thailand ships overseas are its high-quality long-grain white, which also serves as the benchmark grain used to monitor global rice prices. Jasmine fragrant is a cut above that.

This year’s World Rice Conference took place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. The conference is organized and hosted by The Rice Trader, an industry publication from the U.S.

Jurin said that the Thai government had vowed to strengthen Thailand’s reputation as the world’s best producer of quality rice through a marketing campaign that would run from 2020-2024.

The Kingdom is accelerating the development of 12 new rice varieties, including four hard-textured strains of white rice, four soft-textured white rice varieties, two kinds of hom mali fragrant rice and two types of high-nutrition rice.

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