By Andrew Liszewski
A rice cooker is a must-have kitchen appliance since it makes cooking rice dead-easy and almost impossible to screw up. And while there are recipes for cooking lots of different dishes in them, SANYO is the first to create a rice cooker that’s also able to bake up a fresh loaf of bread, without the need for pre-ground rice flour. Making rice bread with a traditional bread maker has always been easy as long as you had the rice flour, but the GOPAN is the first bread maker/rice cooker that features a special spinning mechanism that can grind regular uncooked rice into flour, as well as mix and knead the dough during the baking process.
And even though it comes with a fairly hefty price tag of ¥50,000, which is over $600, the demand for the GOPAN has been so great in Japan that SANYO has had to stop taking orders until April of next year in order to catch up with production. So not surprisingly they also plan to introduce the GOPAN to other international markets sometime in 2011 as well.