The Japanese believe in freshness so much they even offer freshly milled rice. We have an old Japanese friend I very affectionately call my big brother who's family comes from a village quite north of Tokyo. The main industry in his home region is agriculture, particularly of rice. Before my mother left, he insisted that she bring some over for me. My aunt got creative and decided to make it into an onigiri with some pickled plums inside.
It didn't travel well. We ate it for dinner the evening my mother arrived home. The rice, being exposed to rapid changes in temperature, had lost its texture, clumping together. The very subtle fragrance remained though. Now I have an itch I've got to scratch - I have to have a taste of rice at its freshest. Next year's harvest?