Purple Jomon is a rare, “black” sticky upland rice, likely from Japan. I have little historical information about this variety, except that is was listed in Seed Savers Exchange and also given the title of “Tomb Rice”. This variety is not what is referred to as “Forbidden Rice” and sold by Lotus Foods. This is something altogether quite different.
It took me quite a while to properly Id this variety. At first I had a slight concern that it may be a form of “weedy rice”, but I have now put those suspicions to rest. I recently was sent a small amount of Purple Jomon to compare with the seed I grew this season and it is identical. This is a tremendous find for me personally, especially since I grew this as an upland varietal and it responded very well, and nothing compares to this rice’s texture and flavor!
It cooks up in about the same time as brown rice and is extremely sticky. The flavor is what I would describe as “slightly sweet”, yet that was probably a trick of my mind. I could restate the flavor as being fruity without any sweetness. Imagine a mouthful of blackberries with no sweetness. Anyways, I believe you get my point. Hard to describe but it was absolutely delicious!
Purple Jomon has purplish streaks on some of the leaves and stalks. The plants were fairly compact, 30″ in height and bushy with many thick tillers. This is not an early rice like the Duborskian or Loto. I harvested on October 8th which would put it at 130 days from transplant in late May.
- Purple Jomon is slow to germinate.