All of my life my Japanese mother has talked about the difference between good rice and bad rice, and how "that woman" or "that restaurant" makes terrible rice and I've never really understood what she was talking about (as her rice tasted the same as everyone else's to me!). Growing up in an Asian household with lots of friends in the community who were also Asian, rice was pretty much the same wherever you ate it. Everyone used the same rice cookers and followed one of two rules that I've ever heard of. The first one is to add equal parts rice and water to the cooker, or some people do the "finger measure" trick. As long as you didn't overwater or underwater, rice pretty much tasted the same.
But last night I finally understood what my mother has been ranting about all my life. I went to Sushi of Gari in Manhattan, and speaking as someone who has eaten rice practically every day of her life, I've never had rice made as perfectly as they do it. Perfect individual very distinct grains of shiny rice. The texture was nothing short of perfect. I can only think that they've figured out the proportions to the drop of water and the grain of rice. It's not the cooker (not likely that they aren't using the same commercial cookers that everyone does). And they must have perfect proportions of vinegar and sugar to make it into sushi rice and not lose that perfect texture.
Does anyone have advice for me? How can I duplicate that perfection at home? They probably use the freshest and best grade of rice...(koshi hikari_ but I've bought that before too and have not seen this kind of difference. What do you think it is?