Akita Komachi Rice:
This is one of two Japonica medium-grain rice, which is favoured for making sushi and other dishes which include sticky rice. It is not only cultivated in Japan, but also in California, and many other American States.
Arborio rice was named after the town in Italy where it is grown. Arborio is located in the Po Valley. This round-grain medium length rice is actually more of a tan colour than pure white, it also has a distinctive white dot in the center of the grain. This grain has the ability to absorb great amounts of liquid and in doing so can take on loads of flavour. Once cooked it has a creamy texture (this is due to its high starch content) with a chewy center (al dente) and is mostly used for risotto. I was told by my Chef at College that a good risotto should not take more or less than 20 minutes.
Baldo rice is a rice which was created by crossing Arborio rice and the Stripe 136 rice variety. This made Baldo rice high in starch (which made it stickier than most other rice varieties used for risotto) and allowed it to cook faster and keep its plump shape at high cooking temperatures. These characteristics made it popular amongst chefs, using it instead of the traditional Arborio. It is also the favourite rice used in Turkish Cuisine, included in risotto like dishes, and can also be used in other applications.
It is also of the Japonica variety, and is classified as a super fine rice.
It is mainly grown in Turkey, Italy as well as Vietnam
This centuries old long-grain, slender rice has been cultivated at the foot of the Himalayas in Pakistan and India. The word Basmati in Hindi when literally translated means "pearl of scents" or "queen of scents" due to its aromatic aroma when cooked. This rice is non-glutinous and separates once cooked. When cooked it also only swells length wise. It has been exported to Arab countries for centuries, where it is used in rich aromatic dishes.
When cooking this rice the ratio of rice to water is 1 part rice 2 parts water.
Always wash off the rice, then place on a high heat with the water. Once it starts to boil, time it for 5 minutes then cover with tight fitting lid and turn off the heat completely. Leave covered for 20 minutes and have perfect rice every time.
Bhutanese Red Rice:
This beautiful rusty brown red coloured rice is also grown in the Himalayas, but it is grown 8,000 feet above sea level ( 2438.4 meters). The name is some what named ofter the place where it is cultivated, which is the Himalaya Kingdom of Bhudan. It is said that the rice is irrigated (watered) by a 1,000 year old glacier which is rich in trace minerals, which gives it its earthy and nutty flavour. Once cooked, it has a soft texture and has a slightly pinker appearance. Bhatanese red rice is the staple of the Kingdom.
Black Rice (Forbidden rice):
The term forbidden rice comes from when the Chinese Emperors were the only ones allowed to consume this unique black rice. It is a non-glutinous rice unlike other varieties from Asia. It has a deep nutty taste as well as hints of chocolate in it, making this the perfect rice to cook on valentines day. This rice is not just special because of its black appearance when raw and deep purple appearance once cooked but because it is high in fiber, amino acids as well as vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and iron.
Research has also shown that it benefits your eyes, kidneys, spleen and stomach.
Edited by: Monique Boaventura
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I'm a chef at heart and by trade, enjoy what I do and have a passion for the culinary world.