Rice is a grain. Over half of the world’s population relies on rice as a staple of their diet. It is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice).
As part of our diet, it is considered a carbohydrate. 100g of rice will contain 80g of carbohydrates, 7.13g of protein, 11.61g of water and 0.66g of fat.
Rice is also a great source for a number of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins B1 (Thiamine), B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), Folate, Iron, Copper, Manganese and Selenium.
While there are more than 40,000 varieties of cultivated rice in the world, here are the most common types of rice you will come across:
What is…Long grain rice?
Typically around 7-9mm long, long grain rice remains separate and fluffy when cooked. It is most commonly used in main courses, salads and side dishes. Popular varieties include basmati and jasmine rice.
What is…Medium grain rice?
The grain of choice for risottos, puddings and desserts. Medium grain rice holds its shape and provides a smooth texture. Grains are generally 5-6mm in length.
What is…Short grain rice?
Fat, round grains (4-5mm long and 2.5mm wide), higher in starch than the longer varieties. Best for sushi due to a sticky texture when cooked.
What is…Brown rice?
Brown rice also comes in long, medium and short variety. The main different from white rice is that the rice germ and bran layer remain on the rice kernel, with only outer hull removed. Brown rice is 100% whole grain and widely considered healthier than white rice. It has slightly chewy texture and nutty flavour.
What is…Basmati rice?
Basmati rice is a long-grain rice known for its fragrant taste and smell. It is the rice traditionally used in Indian cuisine and it mainly grown in India and Pakistan in the Himalayan foothills.
What is…Jasmine rice?
As with basmati, jasmine rice is a long and slender, aromatic rice. It differs from basmati in that it is generally part of South East Asian and Chinese dishes. It originates from Thailand.
What is…Wild Rice?
Wild rice is actually from a different grass species (Zizania) than the rice varieties mentioned above. Wild rice is mostly grown in North America. The seeds vary in colour from medium brown to black.