Holy Moly, Roly Poly serves up some very mean rice balls. This fast food staple from Japan gets the Salt Spring Island treatment, and what stands out is the beautiful balance between the rice and the ingredients used. I’ve had fat rice balls before, which bury the shrimp (my favourite), and the thin ones, were … well thin.
When I bought them at the Tuesday Food Market, they carried flavours which I never saw back home in Victoria, have noticed in my short time in Japan, and have often desired. They even have rice balls named after local areas, likes Ganges and Salty Salt. True to form, the salt is used to preserve the rice so they can be saved for nibbling on days later.
Being Asian, I thrive on rice. Even though there have been times when I needed a sabbatical from tradition, Roly Poly makes me want to return to it … and become a lone, wandering, samurai.
There’s a delicate zen which I found great in both the pumpkin seed roll and Burgoyne Burdock. The seeds were crunchy and evenly mixed with the rice, and the burdock root was perfectly sautéed to a consistency which didn’t spoil the rice around it. Fortunately, I didn’t wait too long to savour these rice balls. They briefly sat in the fridge, which ruined a bit of the flavour (thanks James), but when the evening hunger pangs hit, I pulled them out and saved them from their terrible fate.
Personally, I don’t think rice can be put into refrigeration at all. Any left overs can be made into rice balls. After witnessing rice turned into mush by a microwave, I’ve decided to make a new mission in life. Tonight, I can sleep happy by being a champion for rice. And when I visit Salt Spring Island again, I can stock up for my trip home.
If one can’t visit Tuesday or Saturday, where Roly Poly operates a stall during the Food Markets for ultimate freshness, these delicious rice balls can be bought at Salt Spring Natureworks.