Calrose
is the name used originally for the medium-grain japonica rice that was experimentally cultivated in California. Calrose was developed at the Rice Experiment Station near the city of Biggs, and released to California growers in 1948.

In Hawaii, they call this rice the sticky rice, preferred by Hawaiian locals. The sticky characteristics of this rice make it easier to shape foods, like musubi and different types of sushi.

I prefer this rice over other brands just for its taste. I was raised on Calrose rice, and it was the only rice my parents bought.



The Calrose Rice Sack

As homemakers back in the ’50s and ’60s, my mom and aunties were very resourceful—not wasting anything that can be reused as something else. The rice sack was one of those items.

My mom would cut the sack into squares or rectangles, overlap the edges, and sew them together to make kitchen towels. Back then, those rice sacks were made from 100 percent cotton and were pretty soft after a few washings.

When visiting Filipino friends and relatives, I would see these rice sack towels hanging from the drawer cabinets in the kitchen. I wish I had saved one of them. I would’ve framed it and hung it on the wall as a novelty item to remind me of our mother’s resourcefulness.