Indian Quenn Basmati rice by Bharat Industrial Enterprises LimitedGumbo is a stew that is generally served on rice. It originated in Southern Louisiana (USA) during 18th century. It consists primarily of strongly flavored stock, meat or shellfish, a thickener and what Louisianans call the ‘holy trinity’ of vegetables namely Okra, Celery, Bell Peppers and Onions. Gumbo is the most famous and, very likely, the most popular of all the dishes in the realm of Louisiana cooking. Gumbo crosses all class barriers, appearing on the tables of the poor as well as the wealthy. Although ingredients might vary greatly from one cook to the next and from one part of the state to another, a steaming bowl of fragrant gumbo is one of life’s cherished pleasures, as emblematic of Louisiana as chili is of Texas.

Seventeen restaurants across the Tokyo, Japan are participating in a U.S. medium grain rice winter menu promotion that began last week and runs through February 2017. Internet advertising on a popular restaurant search website connects consumers with promotion partner restaurants. Tony Roma’s, one of the menu promotion partners, developed eight different gumbo menu items so that their customers can enjoy a different gumbo dish every week for eight weeks.

“Gumbo is still a new menu item in Japan, but chefs here are very creative and have developed several styles of gumbo that are served as a kinds of winter soup here,” said Jim Guinn, USA Rice’s director of Asia promotion programs.  “It is also a great dish to give chefs an idea that rice is an excellent ingredient for soup and U.S. medium grain rice works nicely in this application. We learned through past events, such as the Taste of America campaign and various soup promotions, that gumbo was a menu item that piqued the attention of restaurant chefs,” said Guinn.  “Gumbo is a great ‘gateway’ dish to encourage chefs to use U.S. medium grain rice as a soup ingredient.” To encourage more restaurants to make gumbo using U.S. medium grain rice, a special information webpage was added to the USA Rice Japan website that includes recipes and a short video demonstrating how easy it is to prepare.