Friday, May 7, 2010

Types of Rice......

(Image courtesy of

This week our focus item is Rice, which seems like a very simple and basic food.  There are many types of rice, so you do have a choice when you purchase it.  In the grocery store, you typically find White Rice, Brown Rice, and Instant Rice.

Here is some information from

All types of rice break down into two basic categories: whole grain rice and white rice. Whole grain rice has been minimally processed, so that it retains its nutrient rich husk. Because whole grain rice is not husked, it takes longer to cook, but it also tends to be more flavorful, aromatic, and colorful. Whole grain rice also has special storage considerations, as it can go rancid if it is kept at room temperature. White rice, on the other hand, has been processed so that the husk or bran is removed, and in some cases it may be polished to take the germ off as well. White rice requires less cooking, and it has a more mild flavor, but it also has less nutritional value, if this was a concern.

Rice is also defined by the length of its grain. Short to medium grained rice like Arborio is often used in dishes like risotto, where a dense rice which holds its shape well can be very useful. Sushi, on the other hand, calls for a medium grained rice, while other cooks may make long grain rice like basmati to accompany Indian and Chinese cuisine. Different types of rice may also have different levels of starch, causing the rice to be sticky, as is the case with many Asian varieties, or more loose. Others may be enriched with additions of vitamins and minerals to promote nutritional health.

Brown rice is a well known variety of whole grain rice. Cooks can also find wehani rice, which is a more reddish color, as well as black rice, with a black to purple husk. Aromatic rice is usually whole grain, with many regions producing unique aromatic specialties which may be difficult to obtain in other parts of the world. Aromatic rice has a rich, nutty flavor and a range of aromas, depending on the specific varietal. The scent can enhance the flavor of foods served alongside aromatic rice.
Instant Rice is precooked and then dehydrated, so the cooking time is decreased.  An example of this type of Rice is the brand "Minute Rice".

Places to purchase Rice in our area are:

How to store: Keep in mind that White Rice stores for long periods of time.  Who grain rice stored at room temperature can go rancid.  You can store it in buckets or cans, which ever is most convenient for you.  I have buckets with a Gamma Lids so that I can easily get to the Rice of my choice without a lot of lugging etc. 

It is relatively inexpensive, but a great Food Storage Staple.  Stock up!

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