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Around the World with Panasonic
Vol. 8

Indulging Costa Ricans Love For Rice

Feb 27, 2012
Hi, everyone! This is Masumi in San José, capital of Costa Rica and home to what some say are the world's happiest people. This small country, with a population of only 4.3 million, devotes a quarter of its land to national parks and reserves, making it a leading ecotourism destination.
Costa Ricans love rice so I recently visited friends to find out more about why their rice cooker is always on. Francisco, his wife Silvia and daughter Patricia gave me a warm welcome.


Panasonic makes its products and technologies available to a diverse range of consumers around the world. These articles show some of the ways the company is changing lives in different cultures from the views of local reporters.

Rice and Side Dish Cooked Simultaneously In Dual-Function Rice Cooker

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    L to R: Patricia, Francisco and Silvia.

Every day in Costa Rica starts with rice, usually the traditional breakfast of gallo pinto, a fried dish consisting of rice and beans. I arrived early in the morning while they were preparing it. The rice is made using a cooker with steamer that cooks both rice and a side dish simultaneously. Today the side was steamed potatoes and sausage. "It's incredibly simple and the food is always perfectly cooked without having to worry about cooking times," said Silvia. "I can turn it on and cook breakfast while getting dressed."

Their rice cooker, a Panasonic, has a steaming basket that holds the side dish above the rice, cooking both at the same time. It's an appliance that saves electricity and time, making it perfect for Costa Rica, a country that highly values environmental sustainability.

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    Side Dish In Steamer Tray Cooks Simultaneously Above Rice.
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    Rice Cookers Work Around the Clock in Costa Rica.

What a Difference a Panasonic Rice Cooker Makes

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    Mom's Home-cooked Lunches Are the Norm In Costa Rica.

The rice here is typically long, thin and non-glutinous. Properly cooked Costa Rican-style rice does not stick together and, according to Silvia, no other rice cooker performs quite like Panasonic: "The glass lid makes it easy to check food and is heavy enough to keep steam inside. Each grain gets cooked nice and plump, the way we like it. None of the other cookers we tried can compare with our Panasonic."

It really is a must-have in her life. Since Francisco and Patricia are out most of the day working, it's hard for them to be together. That's what makes breakfast so special; it's the one part of the day when they can gather, chatting over a plate of gallo pinto about the upcoming day. "Whatever we can't finish at breakfast, I'll pack for their lunches," remarked Silvia, who likes the thought of her husband and daughter taking along some nice home-cooked food for lunch.

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    Francisco Is All Smiles As He Digs In.
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    A Dual-Function Rice Cooker Is a Necessity In Silvia's Life.

Panasonic Is the Choice For Durability

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    Mom's Choice: A Panasonic Dual-Function Rice Cooker!

One main reason why they chose a Panasonic rice cooker was the company's reputation for durable products. They had good things to say about their Panasonic TV and other home appliances and, since they would be using the cooker on a daily basis, wanted the best they could get from a brand they trusted.

"We'll be using it for some time," says Silvia with a smile. "I still have to teach my daughter lots of recipes with it before she gets married."

The World's Happiest Nation Nurtured On Warm Rice

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    The Panasonic Factory Is a Landmark Of San José.

Panasonic set up a dry-cell battery factory in San José 45 years ago. The huge factory is now a landmark, its signature blue sign towering over the landscape and reminding people of the number one name in home appliances. And since many streets of the city are un-named, the factory also serves as a reference point, even turning up in official registries of domiciles where one sees houses listed as "200 meters west of Panasonic" or "100 meters north of the east end of Panasonic." This signifies how completely Panasonic has become entwined with the fabric of the city.

Costa Rica entered the limelight after the populace was rated as "the happiest people in the world" by a recent British think-tank survey*. The country's agreeable climate and laid-back lifestyle make for a hospitable society, where the attitude of "there's always tomorrow" melds charmingly with the warmth and friendliness of the people.
* According to a 2009 survey conducted by the New Economics Foundation.

Panasonic rice cookers are world renowned for both reliability and functions designed to closely match the food culture of each country, and which undoubtedly help keep Costa Ricans smiling.

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    A Wide Variety Of Rice Is Sold At Supermarkets.
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    For Lunch, the World's Happiest Children Bring From Home a Lunch Bag Filled With Rice.

(Reported by Masumi)

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