Worldwide they are 4,000 varieties of rice! The shape, size, and starch content of the different varieties affect the way rice is used in different recipes. Each country uses particular varieties for its cuisine. In the United States, the most used rice is the long-grain.
White rice is the generic term for rice that has been processed to remove the outside husk, bran, and germ. It is usually enriched with vitamins.
Brown rice has only the husk removed so most of the bran and germ are still there.
It is more nutritious than white rice, it has a richer flavor, and chewer texture.
Here are the most common varieties:
Grain are long and slim; when cooked remain separate, and the finished result is quite dry.
- Carolina Rice: The most used rice in North America
Basmati rice comes from India and Pakistan. It has full flavor, and low glycemic index (its sugar content moves slower to the blood than in other kinds of rice and therefore keeping the blood-glucose stable).
- Black rice: Originally from China, it is unrefined, it has a nutty flavor. In Italy is called Black Venus in honor of Naomi Campbell, the famous black model.
Jasmine rice, also known as Thai fragrant rice, has a slight perfume, and when cooked is slightly more sticky.
The risotto rice! The most common variety is Arborio. Each grain is plump, with a nice coat of starch that, when cooked, will make the delicious sauce. Better varieties are Carnaroli and Vialone Nano, & Bomba rice! From Spain, it is used to make Paella; it is not sticky but absorbs the broth!
Short –grain rice
- Sushi rice
After cooking, the grains stick together. The stickiness holds the sushi rolls together.
- Par-boiled rice
Also called converted rice, is a product of a 2000-year-old technique used in India and Pakistan. The whole grain is steeped in water, steamed, and dried before milling. The process causes B vitamins in the bran and germ to move in the core of the grain. It takes longer to cook and the grains remain separate. It is very nutritious.
- Jade Pearl rice
Each grain looks like a jade pearl. Cooked has a very delicate flavor, it loses the green color and the grains are very sticky.