Calrose Rice
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Calrose Rice, which is one of the most recognized Rice types in the U.S. and the Pacific Region, is a Medium Grain Rice and the leading Rice grown in California.

Calrose was developed from a Japonica Rice type at the U.C. Davis’ Rice Experiment Station near Biggs, California in the 1940s. The inventors took the name “Rose” which had been used for a popular Medium Grain Rice from Louisiana (Blue Rose) and made it a California Rose or “Calrose.”

Slightly sticky, Calrose Rice is an all-purpose Rice with desirable cooking properties and good yields. California Rice planters built their businesses on Calrose Rice and the strain took off. Subsequently it has been tinkered with and improved, but the current product still goes by the name Calrose Rice. 

You may not know this, but there is a World’s Best Rice selected by judges at the Annual World Rice Conference. On November 21, 2013, Calrose Rice was voted as the World’s Best Rice (in a tie with Cambodian Fragrant Rice). 


Rice harvesting season in North America is typically early or mid-July in early planting regions such as California, where most of the Calrose Rice is sown and grown. Some Rice farmers are able to reflood their fields after their first harvest and achieve a partial second harvest or "ratoon" crop from the stubble of the first.


Medium Grain Rice generally does best in temperate climates and mountainous regions.

See the General Rice Resource for broad Rice cultivation information.


In the U.S., high-yielding Calrose Rice is grown principally in the Sacramento River Delta of Northern California. In fact, 85% of the California Rice crop is Calrose Rice; it is also grown to a lesser extent in the South. Medium Grain Rice accounts for about 25% of U.S. production. All U.S. rice is produced in irrigated fields, achieving some of the highest yields in the world.

Calrose Rice is now also grown extensively in the Pacific Rim and Australia.

See Smart Kitchen’s General Rice Resource for more Rice production information.


Calrose Rice and the New Variety “Calrose-style” Rice.


Calrose Rice can be processed as both Brown Rice and White Rice. It may also be found at retail as Converted Rice or Minute Rice.

Calrose Rice is most commonly available in prepackaged containers but may be found in bulk bins. Whichever way you find it, make sure to check the expiration date. Brown Calrose Rice will go bad more quickly than White Calrose Rice, which can still be good up to 2 years after harvest.

If you are buying White Calrose Rice in bulk from a bin, make sure the merchant has high volume and that the Rice bin is, and has been, properly covered: You don’t want any surprises in your purchase. While selecting your Rice (in bulk or in packages), keep an eye out for any signs of moisture which can ruin Rice. Also, try and buy as few broken grains of Rice as possible. Your final dish will likely be a mess of overdone and underdone Rice if you cook with broken grains and whole grains: broken grains are smaller than whole grains and the two sizes won’t cook together uniformly.

Finally, if you are conflicted, for budgetary or philosophical reasons, about buying Organic, you may want to give in here and buy Organic Rice. The reason is that research indicates that domestic non-organic White Rice contains 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than organic White Rice from Europe, India or Bangladesh.


Because Brown Calrose Rice retains its Bran Layer (with the Rice Bran Oil which will go Rancid), it has a shorter shelf life than White Calrose Rice and requires a little different handling and philosophy to maximize your yield and value.

How you store Brown Calrose Rice revolves around how quickly you plan to use it. If you plan to use it all in a few weeks, store the Brown Calrose Rice in an airtight container in a cool dark place like your pantry. Sealed, it may last 3-6 months but will be best for only a few weeks. If you open your package from the pantry, store the unused portion in the refrigerator or freezer for a better shelf life.

In the refrigerator, your Brown Calrose Rice will last for 6-12 months in an airtight container. Frozen, you should get 12-18 months (for best quality).

For White Calrose Rice, which is a dried Grain, you won’t have to be as diligent. An unopened container of White Calrose Rice will keep almost indefinitely in a pantry at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or frozen. Once opened, the only real risks to the shelf life are moisture and pests, including bugs and rats. Keeping the container sealed and airtight can protect against both of these.

Let cooked Calrose Rice (both brown and white) cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator. Cooked Calrose Rice will last about 4-7 days in the refrigerator but it is best to use it within 2 days. 

Culinary Uses

Calrose Rice is an all-purpose table Rice that cooks up soft, moist, and slightly sticky. It holds together and absorbs flavors well. Calrose Rice can be used for Mediterranean dishes (Paella, Risotto, Pilaf, and Spanish Rice) and Asian dishes (Rice Bowls, Stir Fry, Fried Rice, Fusion Entrées, etc.). Calrose Rice is also the predominant type of Sushi Rice in the United States. Smart Kitchen has a Sushi Rice Recipe in our Recipe section.

Calrose Rice holds together well and can be used in Soups and Salads. Because it is somewhat sticky in texture without being extremely sticky, Calrose Rice is cooked with the Cooking Sticky Rice Method or by Steaming Rice.

In addition, Calrose Rice is cooked according to the desired outcome. For example, Risotto Rice is cooked in the Risotto style (Smart Kitchen has an Exercise on Basic Risotto).

Paella Ricis cooked in the Paella style, etc.

Brown Calrose Rice will take longer (about 50% longer) to cook than White Calrose Rice.

Nutritional Value

Serving Size: ¼ cup (57 g)

Calories 170

Total Fat 0 g

Sodium 5 mg (0%)

Carbohydrates 39 g 13%

Sugars 0 g

Protein 3 g

Gluten Free


Low Fat


Low Calorie