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Neuro Fuzzy Elephant Brand

I wouldn’t know what to do without a rice cooker. For almost 14 years I had been using a Sanyo model which, at its time, was one of the most advanced electronic kitchen gadgets. But seals began to break, hinges started to wear, and the quality of the cooked rice began to suffer noticeably.

Once upon a time, rice was rice for me. I bought it in a box or in a plastic bag, covered it with water in a pot and let it cook until no liquid was left. But that was before Japan. One of the things I learned living in Nippon was to distinguish rice from rice, to be able to tell if it was cooked with too much water or with not enough.

Would I be able to replace my old Sanyo rice cooker? The models I had seen in stores where pitifully inadequate, and I was all prepared to import one from Japan even though the difference in voltage would make it difficult to use the timer.

Then I found Pleasant Hill Grain in Aurora, Nebraska. They were selling Zōjirushi (象印) rice cookers on the Internet for what I thought quite reasonable prices. The folks at Pleasant Hill Grain were very helpful, even returned calls on a Sunday, and as a result I am now cooking my rice in a brand new rice cooker with fuzzy logic – “Neuro Fuzzy,” in best Japanese.

The menu has, if anything, too many options, the timer works perfectly, the rice comes out slightly sticky and just great.

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