Calrose rice is an "irradiation-bred" variety of japonica medium-grain rice developed in California in the early 1970s. It is the most recognized variety of California rice in the United States and abroad, especially in the Pacific. In Hawaii, Guam and other islands, Calrose rice accounts for more than 90% of the rice consumed. The variety is grown in other areas of the world where it is suited to growing conditions, such as Australia.
After cooking, Calrose rice grains hold flavor well, and are soft and stick together, making it good for use in sushi.
Calrose was once a much sought-after variety in parts of Asia, where it was considered exotic. There was even a black market for the variety and it was smuggled in large quantities.