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Rice is Nice

The most popular food in the world, according to research, is rice. It is a staple diet for a sizable segment of the world’s population, especially in Asia. Wheat, corn, and potatoes are among other often consumed foods.

For many cultures worldwide, rice is a staple food, and there are many reasons why people enjoy eating it. Some of the causes are as follows:

  1. Rice is a flexible component that may be used in various recipes because it can be prepared in various ways, including steaming, boiling, frying, and as a basis for many dishes.

  2. Nutritional Value: Carbohydrates, an essential energy source for the body, are reasonably present in rice. It also has a reduced fat content, which is good for sticking to a healthy diet.

  3. Rice is a staple cuisine in many cultures and is frequently connected to festivities and special occasions. One approach to maintaining a connection to one’s cultural history is to eat rice.

  4. Accessibility: Because rice is a very inexpensive food, it is affordable for people of all income levels.

  5. Taste: Rice has a moderate, neutral flavor that blends well with a wide range of flavors and spices and is, therefore, simple to include in a wide range of meals.

  6. Storage capacity: Rice has a long shelf life and is well-suited to long-term storage, making it a dependable food source during times of food shortage or natural disaster.

Different Types of Rice

Sushi Rice

Sushi rice is technically short-grain white or brown rice that has a soft, tender, and very sticky texture. Sushi rice is made by combining short-grain white or brown rice with sugar, salt, and vinegar. Often times short-grain white or brown grain rice will be labeled as "sushi rice" on its packaging to denote that it is ideal for using to roll sushi.

Sushi rice length: Short grain

Sushi rice flavor: Mild

What is sushi rice used for?: Sushi, rice balls, poke bowls

Arborio Rice

Arborio rice is a medium grain rice that is wider in size and has a characteristic white dot at the center of the grain. It is named after the town of Arborio in the Po Valley of Italy, where it is grown. Due to the high starch content of Arborio rice, it has a slightly chewy and sticky consistency and develops a creamy texture when cooked.

Arborio rice length: Medium grain

Arborio rice flavor: Creamy

What is arborio rice used for?: Risotto, rice pudding, and soup

Basmati Rice

When cooked, basmati rice grains are long, dry, and separate. They impart a pleasant, nutty aroma and flavor in any dish. It is common in Indian and Asian cuisine, but it can be used in a variety of flavorful recipes.

Basmati rice length: Long grain

Basmati rice flavor: Nutty

What is basmati rice used for?: Dal, curry, pilafs, and saffron rice

Black Rice

Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, gets its color from anthocyanins, the same antioxidant that's found in blueberries and blackberries. Black rice features a mildly nutty, earthy flavor and has long been used in Chinese cuisine for its health-promoting properties.

Black rice length: Long, medium, or short grain

Black rice flavor: Mild, nutty, and earthy

What is black rice used for?: Bowls, rice pudding, soups, rice salads, and Chinese black rice cake

Sticky Rice

Sticky rice, also known as glutinous rice or sweet rice, is a long grain white rice that has a low amylose starch content, which causes the rice to have an extremely sticky texture when steamed. It is grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia and is used in many savory and sweet Asian dishes.

Sticky rice length: Long grain

Sticky rice flavor: Mild

What is sticky rice used for?: Dumplings, desserts, rice balls, and stuffing

Brown Rice

Brown rice is a whole grain that has its bran and germ layers still intact, which gives the rice its characteristic tan color. It has a firmer texture and nuttier flavor than white rice, and it provides more fiber, vitamins, and minerals per serving. Brown rice can be substituted in any recipe that calls for white rice to increase its nutritional content.

Brown rice length: Long grain

Brown rice flavor: Mild, nutty, and earthy

What is brown rice used for?: Stuffing, bowls, casseroles, stir fries, and rice pilaf

Jasmine Rice

Cultivated in Thailand, jasmine rice will bring an exotic flair and flavorful accent to any dish. It develops a pleasant floral aroma and a moist, soft texture when cooked. Use it when making a variety of traditional Asian dishes, including curries and stir-frys.

Jasmine rice length: Long grain

Jasmine rice flavor: Floral, nutty, and aromatic

What is jasmine rice used for?: Curry, stir-fry dishes, and other Thai and Asian dishes

Bomba Rice

Bomba rice is a short grain rice that is cultivated in the Valencia region of Spain. It has a firm texture that lends itself well to Spanish paella, as it needs more liquid to asborb when cooking than other rice varieties.

Bomba rice length: Short

Bomba rice flavor: Mild; absorbs the flavor and aroma of the stock and spices it's cooked with

What is bomba rice used for?: Paella, Meditteranean dishes, and risotto

Long Grain White Rice

Long grain white rice is most common rice used in traditional American recipes, and it's also popular in Asian and Mexican cuisine. Compared to brown rice, it has a mild flavor and a lighter, fluffier texture when cooked. It also takes much less time to cook white rice than brown rice, but the trade-off is that it has a lower nutritional content due to its milling process. Carolina Gold rice, a variety that originated in Africa but can now only be found in the United States, is known as the grandfather of all of America’s long grains.

White rice length: Long grain

White rice flavor: Mild

What is white rice used for?: Stuffing, bowls, casseroles, stir-fry dishes, rice pilaf

Is Rice a Grain? Rice is one of the eight true cereal grains, along with wheat, oats, corn (maize), barley, rye, millet, and sorghum. There are 4 parts to the rice grain: the hull, bran, white rice, and germ. Below we will break down the different parts of a rice grain. Use the diagram to reference where each part is located on the grain.

1. Hull Each grain of rice is enclosed in a tough outer hull, or husk, that needs to be removed before it can be consumed. This layer is removed in all rice types. 2. Bran Under the hull, the bran layer is not removed in all rice types. This nutritious whole grain section is usually tan-colored, but it may be reddish or black depending on the pigmentation in the bran layers. The bran layer may be consumed, but it is often removed when further processing rice. 3. White Rice Once the bran and germ layers are removed, white rice remains. Known as the endosperm, this is the part of the rice that is most commonly consumed. 4. Germ Found under the hull, the germ, or rice kernel, is nutrient-dense. Full of B vitamins, minerals, and proteins, it helps give rice its color and added nutritional benefits.

A few recipes to take you into the weekend;

asparagus risotto
Download PDF • 223KB

Download PDF • 95KB

Congri (Cuban Black Beans and Rice) - Jessica in the Kitchen
Download PDF • 136KB

Cheers, and have a great weekend! I'm off on another little journey for a few weeks, stay tuned for more interesting content!

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