The assortment of rice at our fingertips is increasingly wide, with varieties that give a gourmet and novel touch to the menus. Make the most of them in your kitchen!
Originally this variety of rice was only grown in the Po Valley (Italy). It is a polished rice, but very fine and of great quality. Its round grains are very porous and have a spongy texture, so they can absorb a lot of liquid during long cooking without weighing it down.
In addition, during cooking, and especially if stirred, it easily releases the starch, which gives it a creamy consistency, ideal for risottos. It provides a lot of energy that is quickly assimilated and is a good choice for dishes with mushrooms and Mediterranean aromas.
Long grain brown rice
It is a rice with large grains, crunchy and, above all, very nutritious. This is due to the fact that they preserve the ﬁber of the peel and the germ, which is very rich in B vitamins.
This type of rice, very versatile in the kitchen, cooks relatively quickly (35-40 minutes) and its grains are loose and elegant in any recipe.
It is more aromatic than short grain rice, but it takes a bit of time to absorb the flavors, so it is not advisable in paellas. This rice goes well with light recipes, little spicy, and pilaf. It is preferable to soak it a few hours before cooking.
The Thai rice, or rice jasmine is grown in Thailand in unique climatic conditions that occur in the higher valleys to the north of the country. The result is a long, almost translucent and highly aromatic grain, similar to Indian basmati but which tends to stick together when cooked, making it ideal to consume with chopsticks. It has a soft and silky texture that melts on the palate.
It can be served as an accompaniment to any dish, simply boiled or steamed, without seasonings or garnished with a drizzle of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
The striking color of these grains is due to natural pigments with an antioxidant effect. It is a rice rich in nutrients since it is only sold whole (the pigments are found in the bran). There are very diverse red rice’s, short or long grain, but all with an intense, nutty flavor.
As it is a whole grain, it is preferable to consume it organically grown. It should not be confused with red yeast rice, which consists of grains fermented by Meniscus pursuers from polished rice.
Black rice or venere
This ebony brown rice is originally from China, where it is known as “forbidden rice”, since it was once reserved for the emperor and his family. Short-grained, fragrant and not very sticky, it needs a long cooking time. Its intense color fades a bit when cooked, but it retains a nice shine and a crunchy texture that make these beans a highly appreciated product in haute cuisine.
It is usually used to accompany fish or seafood dishes, but it also gives a lot of play in vegetable cuisine. Its flavor, somewhat sweet, goes well with desserts and vegetables.
This is a long-grain variety whose name in Urdu means “fragrant”, because when cooked it gives off a characteristic intense aroma. It is known as the “prince of rice” because of the great consistency of its grains and its fine almond flavor. It grows south of the Himalayas.
Although it cooks quickly, it is advisable to let it soak for a while so that the acetylpyrroline responsible for its fragrance does not escape during cooking. Because it has a hard time absorbing flavors, it is very accepting of pungent spices and lavishly seasoned recipes.
Carolina double rice
It is produced almost exclusively in Argentina and has characteristics that make it ideal for preparing classic Japanese sushi. It’s coarse and very short grains contain a large amount of starch, which gives them a slightly sweet taste and a smooth texture, which tends to clump together when cooked.
It is also used to prepare desserts such as rice pudding, as well as in the preparation of excellent risottos. This rice demands attention when it is prepared, as it does not tolerate overcooking. For this reason, it is recommended to serve it at the moment.