Rice Diversity. Part of the image collection o...

Rice Diversity. Part of the image collection of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alright we know about the common bean what about rice? Rice is a serial grain, in the same category with corn and wheat, 1/5 of the calories eaten by humans in the world come from rice. Rice is harvested and then mulled (removing the husk) and separated from the chaff. What you have left is brown rice, the bran (the brown part) is then polished off and what you have left is white rice.

Brown Rice is nutritionally superior to white, having vitamin B1, B3, iron, magnesium, fatty acids, and a good portion of fiber that all are lost in the polishing process. Due to the oil in the bran brown rice has a much shorter shelf life:

Brown rice sealed in an oxygen starved environment (more on this later) at a constant 70 degrees will last from 1-2 years.

White rice stored the same way will last 8-10 years.

For now we will concern ourselves with white rice. There are hundred varieties of rice but they are classified into three main categories:

Long grain is long and slender, popular in America due to the fact that it will “fluff up” and not stick together popular varieties include Jasmine, Basmati and Carolina rice.

Medium Grain is shorter and stickier is used for risotto, paella, puddings, and sushi.

Short Grain shorter yet again and is also used for sushi and rice flower, due to the many varieties and “blends” between medium and short I consider these basically the same.

Rice is a staple of home storage without breaking the bank I still purchase a 25 lb bag for 20$ locally. Can you live off of ONLY rice? No! Would you want to if you could? No! Can you use rice as the backbone of a variety of dishes? Yes.

One thing I try to do is to store different varieties, a good risotto, is a long way away from prefect sticky sushi rice.

So there you have it, Jeff’s mini primer on rice hope it helps!