Rice is a grain. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Brown rice also comes in long, medium and short varieties. 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.
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 is mainly grown in India and Pakistan in the Himalayan foothills.
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.
Wild rice comes 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.