Types Of Rice

Introduction

Rice is a staple food for almost half of the world’s population. It’s the third-widely grown food crop in the world after sugarcane and maize. However, maize and sugarcane also serve other purposes, and so rice is the most important food crop in the world.

Rice comes from Oryza sativa (Asian rice), Oryza glaberrima (African rice) and wild rice (Zizania and Porteresia). These species produce at least 40,000 types of rice, but not all are equally popular. They fall either in the long, short or medium grain category.

In this article, we will look at some of the most popular types of rice that people consume today.

Most Popular Types Of Rice

Most Popular Types of Rice

Though there are so many kinds of rice, most aren’t popular, and many people don’t know about them. But some varieties are pretty popular with the mass population, home cooks and chefs.

Here is a list of some of the most well-known types of rice grown and sold today.

 

White Rice

Out of the thousands of rice varieties, white rice is the most consumed type globally. People eat it as a staple, and cooking enthusiasts often use it in their recipes.

White rice is also a versatile variety, which is one of the main reasons for its popularity. It’s nutritious but loses a large number of nutrients when processed.

Many rice varieties have a white color, but white rice is a name given to a specific type. It’s long-grain rice and quite popular in Asian, Mexican and American cuisines.

However, people in other places also use it as it’s abundantly available and affordable compared to other types of rice.

 

Brown Rice

Brown rice is also a popular variety and it’s a whole grain. It’s a good option especially for people looking for healthier options. It’s considered more nutritious than white rice because of the technique used in processing it.

Brown rice contains bran and germ, which are both full of nutrients. The processing method of brown rice removes only the husk, and so much of the nutrients are intact.

Brown rice has a nutty flavor with a chewy texture. So, you get the goodness and also the fantastic flavor.

Brown rice is popular in stir-fries, pilaf, stuffed peppers and casseroles. But you can also use it to make many other dishes.

 

Basmati Rice

Grown widely in India, Pakistan and the Himalayan region, Basmati rice is popular in the sub-continent cuisine, and it’s a long-grain variety.

Basmati offers a nutty flavor with a fragrant aroma, and that is one of the reasons for its popularity.

Basmati rice is used in many dishes like pilaf, curries, saffron rice and the famous Biryani dish.

It’s available in both white and brown variety, and its aroma becomes more distinct with age, so it’s harvested a little late. It also becomes fluffier, and the grains don’t stick to each other when you cook it.

 

Jasmine Rice

It’s another long-grained variety that originated in Thailand. It’s named so because of its color, which is white like the jasmine flower.

Jasmine rice is widely used in Caribbean and Asian cuisines. It becomes slightly sticky while being cooked and gives a lovely taste and scent.

Because of its moist and soft texture, it absorbs spices and other flavors nicely.

It’s good to eat with grilled, fried and braised items but not suitable for fried rice.

 

Black Rice

It gets its name because of its color. It’s also known by different names like Nerone Black rice, forbidden rice, Venere black rice and Thai black rice.

Black rice is medium-grain and is popular in Asian cuisine, and is used in Chinese black rice cake, porridge, noodles and desserts.

But you can experiment with it and make plenty of other dishes, both sweet and savory.

It’s certainly not as popular as white and brown rice but definitely healthier because it contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties and dietary fiber.

 

Sushi Rice

Japanese rice varieties like Akitakomachi, Koshihikari and Hitomebore fall under the sushi rice category because of the features which they share.

Sushi rice is a short-grain Japanese rice variety that becomes incredibly tender and sticky when cooked. It becomes even stickier than sticky rice. Therefore, it’s the preferred choice for making sushi rolls and sushi blocks.

Like other varieties, you can also use sushi rice to make some other dishes. But you can use it only on those recipes that ask for sticky and tender rice.

 

Parboiled Rice

Though the name suggests so, it isn’t pre-cooked rice, but it’s processed differently from other varieties.

Because of the particular method in processing, parboiled rice has more nutrients than typical rice. It also provides a fuller taste than regular white rice.

Parboiled rice is a versatile ingredient, so you can use it in a lot of recipes. Make casseroles, salads, curries and vegetable dips with parboiled rice.

You can also make fried rice and use it in stir-fries. You can also steam it and eat it with many other dishes like curries, soups, stir-fries, baked beans, etc.

 

Arborio Rice

Native to Italy and named after Arborio in Po Valley, Arborio rice offers a creamy and sticky texture. It has a high starch content and is ideal for making risotto, soups and pudding.

Arborio rice also has the ability to hold its shape during the cooking process and soaks in the flavors and liquids quickly.

Arborio rice is also widely grown in Texas and California, and the superfine variety is primarily used in the USA.

 

Red Cargo Rice

It’s also called Thai red rice and is a long-grained non-glutinous variety. The milling process of red cargo rice is similar to brown rice, so it’s packed with nutrients.

You can steam it in the traditional way and eat it with other items or also use it in stir-fries and salads.

You can also make fried rice with veggies or various meats. If you want to eat a healthy variety, red cargo rice is a good choice.

 

Wild Rice

It’s not as popular as white or brown rice but is used widely in several cuisines. Wild rice is native to North America, and it’s brown or black.

Some reports suggest that wild rice is not rice but aquatic grass. It’s also a healthy variety as it contains plenty of nutrients.

You can make pilaf, soups, and stuffing or even make various other things.

 

Some Other Popular Rice Varieties

  • Red rice
  • Valencia rice
  • Rosematta rice

 

Conclusion

There are many more types of rice that grow around the world. But people don’t grow them as much, so they aren’t readily available.

Since the rice varieties are inaccessible, they are also expensive, and so only chefs and cooking enthusiasts use them in their recipes.

With so many options available, though, you can enjoy making different dishes and share with family and friends.

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