Don t Think Twice, it's All Rice



Rice is the staple food of over half the world's population. Written records of its cultivation date as far back as 2800 BC in China, although it is believed to have originated in India prior to this. In the Chinese language, the word rice also means "agriculture" or "culture." Knowledge and use of rice in the western cultures dates back only as far as the fifteenth century.

Rice is eaten all over the globe. Unfortunately, white rice is most often used, even though brown rice is far superior nutritionally. At some point in Asia, white rice became a status symbol, and thus, the preferred variety. White rice has been stripped of its most nutritional parts - the bran & the germ - which leaves almost pure starch. Nutritionally, this has been a tragedy for the common people of Asia since rice is a primary part of their diet. It has resulted in widespread vitamin deficiency diseases, most notably beriberi caused by a lack of the B-vitamin, thiamin. "Enriching" white rice does little to compensate for the lack of natural vitamins, minerals & fiber present in unprocessed brown rice. Nature, once again has provided a much more suitable food for humans than we have been able to provide through "modern technology."

What's the Difference?
Basmati - Originally from Thailand & India, now also grown in California*. A long grain rice with a nutty, popcorn-like fragrance.

Black Japonica* - A blend of short grain black & medium grain mahogany rice, the seeds of which originated in Japan. It has a nutty mushroom-like flavor coupled with a subtle, sweet spiciness. Its dark color turns the cooking water a purplish brown.

Country Wild Blend* - A rich mixture of Wehani & Black Japonica; fragrant and flavorful, it adds great color, fragrance and texture to pilafs, casseroles and side dishes.

Long Grain Brown - Cooks to a firm, fluffy texture with a mild, slightly nutty flavor; a good all-purpose rice.

Richvale Red*
- A red colored, short grain brown rice. Developed from Asian rices, it has a mysteriously musky, mushroom-like flavor with a stickier texture.

Short Grain - Cooks to a denser, chewier texture than long grain with a slightly sweeter taste as well. If cooked to more than a just-done consistency, it becomes sticky and is very suitable for rice pudding.

Sweet Rice
- Once reserved for royalty and special ceremonies in the Orient, also called sticky rice. Used in Asia for sticky sweets, snacks and desserts. The rice of choice for Japanese sushi.

Wehani* - A spectacular aromatic long grain brown rice. It has a deep mahogany color and a savory musky nut-like flavor.

Wild Rice - Not really a rice, but a wild grass. Harvested by hand in boats by the native peoples of the area now known as Minnesota and the surrounding Great Lakes region, it is a wonderful, nutty-flavored addition to any rice dish. Nutrititionally, it is superior to most other rices and grains, being high in protein, the B vitamins, the minerals iron and phosphorous, high in fiber and low in fat. I regularly add it to my pot of brown rice when cooking.

* Grown exclusively by the folks at Lundberg Family Farms in Richvale, Ca.


Rice

Grain upon grain
Fresh and delightful as frost
A dazzling jewel
To what can I compare this treasure?
- Yang Ji (Ming Dynasty)

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This page built by Ray Neff andDavid ResSeguie Last update: May 23, 1995