What is rice

What is rice

We consider the most common types and varieties



There are several classifications of rice that describe this grain in every detail. Rice is distinguished by its length and shape (round-grain, medium-grain, long-grain), by the method of pretreatment (unpolished - brown, polished - white, steamed), by the consistency of the kernel (flour, vitreous, semi-glass), by cultivation (wild, which is not rice at all, but a relative of it, and rice is grown all over the world).


There are about 10,000 species of rice. The same variety can be processed in several different ways, which will change its appearance and characteristics. As well as the name was given by the manufacturer.


When compiling the guide, we did not start from specific varieties and types of rice, but from what can be found on store shelves. So, in our selection, for example, arborio (a certain type of rice), devzira (which can be different types), and brown rice (processing method) coexist.

Krasnodar rice

Krasnodar is not a variety, but many varieties named after the place of origin and cultivation. Rice has been cultivated in the Kuban region since the 1920s, and local producers now produce about 80% of Russian rice. It is customary to say about this rice in the far north of the world.


In the minds of consumers, “Krasnodarsky” is usually called round grain rice, but there is also medium-grain rice on the package with the same name. 99% of Krasnodar rice is polished grain.


Krasnodar varieties - most often 4-5 mm grain and about 2-3 mm long. It is semi-glass, but less often - due to the abundance of starch. During cooking, starch actively absorbs moisture, and rice boils quickly and very well, so wonderful sweets, casseroles, and cereals are obtained from Krasnodar. Since it is so sticky, it can be used as a budget alternative to the rice used in Japanese dishes.


Kuban rice



Like Krasnodarsky. The general name of the local varieties that grow in the Kuban.


Therefore, if the word “Kuban” is written on the label, and the external parameters of the grains - length, width and transparency - are not enough for you, look for the name of the variety. If rice is produced in accordance with GOST or TU, then the variety must be described. True, few people know about the Krasnodar varieties, so you will have to read more about them.


Most often, people under the name "Kubansky" mean crushed rice with round grains, which is suitable for milk porridge and desserts.





Cedar comes from the Ferghana Valley - a mountain depression located in the territories of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The name unites varieties of medium-grain and long-grain rice: some have a pearly straw color, others are pinkish-red, and some have a shiny brown or black stripe on the side. Subspecies of devzira include chungara, karakoltak, and dastarsaryk rice.


The rice is covered with a distinctive powder that looks like sand. Devziru is peeled, but not polished, hence the powder - it's the crushed upper shell of the grain and seed. Sellers often speculate about this, claiming that thanks to this technology, devzira is more useful than other types of rice. Officially, yes. dry. Indeed, before cooking, the rice is washed, the powder is removed, and with it all the useful things that it contains. But this does not make Devziru less tasty. And by the way, the taste of this rice is specific - sweet, with a little malt.


Since devzira is unpolished, the surface of the grain is uneven and ribbed.


This rice is fermented. Before peeling, they are kept in granaries, and then successively moistened and dried, which finally gives the grains their density. The process takes from one to three years: of course, the more time the rice is fermented, the more expensive it will be.


Devzira is common and expensive rice that is often counterfeited by smearing plain white rice with brick dust. It is easy to check whether the fake is in front of you or not. Because of its high density, Divzira grain is heavier than any other rice. A handful of devzira weighs more than the same amount of jasmine, for example.


Devzira absorbs a lot of liquid and fat, along with spices and seasonings - at the same time, due to the density of the grain, it keeps its shape well after heat treatment. Crunchy and very aromatic pilaf is obtained from it. It is not for nothing that Divzira is considered the canonical rice of a variety of pilafs.


Before cooking, this rice must be washed, and after this process, it will become lighter and acquire an amber color.





Aromatic long-grain rice is native to Thailand. It belongs to the indica type of rice - crumbly long-grain rice. Jasmine comes in polished, uncut, and steamed forms.


Its aroma is often compared to that of jasmine flowers, hence the name. Moreover, this aroma can be felt even through the packaging. But if the cedar smells not like flowers, but rather a woody smell, then this means that it was not stored properly, and it is spoiled. It is believed that rancidity of jasmine almost always occurs after six months of storage.


Jasmine seeds are long, thin, smooth and their white is dazzling. There should be no stains on this rice, and if they are, this may indicate some kind of malfunction that occurred during the processing of the rice or storage.


The world learned about jasmine after World War II, when Thai breeders, after years of testing, decided to release their product. Jasmine is still cultivated only in Thailand, and the first place of its growth was the sandy soils of the eastern regions of the country. Unlike many other Asian varieties, such as those grown in India, jasmine is drought tolerant, which is why it is so easy to grow on small farms. This made jasmine a national product, and the Thais cook everything with it.


It is customary to boil jasmine in a small amount of water, or even better - steamed. It is well washed beforehand. Then the rice comes out very crumbly, almost does not stick together, and keeps its shape well. In Thailand, it is eaten with everything in a row, in countries where the choice of rice is richer, jasmine is used to prepare side dishes, salads, and desserts.




Basmati is not a variety, but a variety of rice. Basmati belongs to the indica group: it is a long, small and crumbly grain. Most of the basmati rice found in Europe is native to India.


Basmati has a high aroma. Therefore, sometimes confusion arises, and other aromatic varieties with different parameters are given to basmati. Therefore, when choosing basmati, for example, in the market, one must understand that this is a combination of qualities.


Basmati kernels are cream or semi-cream, translucent and long, as a rule, not less than 7 mm. These are thin, slightly curved grains, which when cooked bend more without changing their diameter. easy to digest; During cooking, the rice acquires a characteristic taste and slight sweetness.


Basmati comes polished, unpolished, and steamed.




Short grain rice is native to Italy. Rich in starch. For this reason, arborio is the perfect rice for risotto, and the starch is responsible for its creamy texture. During cooking, arborio perfectly absorbs all the aromas of neighboring ingredients and soaks well in the sauce. At the same time, during cooking, arborio does not crumble but acquires some elasticity. In addition to risotto, it is also used in soups and rice pudding.


Arborio is largely transparent rice with a dense kernel clearly visible. It can be peeled, sanded, and polished. The color of the tree should be even, without inclusions that may indicate deterioration. Since Arborio absorbs moisture easily, it is best to store it in a glass container in a dry place. It is advisable not to wash the tree before cooking in order to preserve the maximum amount of starch in the rice.


It was brought to Italy by Asian merchants probably in the 15th century and immediately began to grow in the Arborio municipality area of ​​Piedmont.


Brown rice



Brown (or brown) rice is available in a variety of shapes and sizes. For example, the famous Basmati rice may be brown. The point in the processing: The rice is cleaned off the hard outer husk, but not milled or polished, so it retains the husk containing the fibers and germs. Hence the color, ranging from sandy brown to dark brown.


Brown rice is usually made from the long-grain varieties and used for side dishes, although there are round-grain and medium-grain varieties.


This rice is digested worse than white rice, but it has a higher nutritional value since the husk contains more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than regular white rice. However, if white rice is steamed, most of the nutrients go from the husk to the grain, which you compare to brown rice in this indicator. Of course, except for the fiber story - there is very little of it in white rice for obvious reasons.


On average, brown rice takes 10 minutes longer to cook than white rice. The husk gives the rice not only bright color but also a nutmeg flavor.


Wild rice


So long-grained that it looks hot, black, in places it turns into a burning caramel shade, this beautiful rice from a biological point of view is not rice at all, but a relative of it - zizania (or Tsitsania) or watery cedar. Of the four types of zizania, the beans of two types, Zizania palustris, and Zizana aquatica, are consumed.


Various producers give their wild rice - sometimes noodles - names. For example, "Mistral" calls it aquatic, which roughly corresponds to one of the botanical names. The homeland of this plant is the Land of Lakes, an area on the border of Canada and the United States. Wild rice is essentially swamp grass, an annual plant. The crop is small, harvested mainly by hand, which leads to high prices.


Wild rice is minimally processed, so it needs extra attention before cooking. So, the grains of wild rice are quite dense, so before cooking, they should be soaked for at least 30-40 minutes, preferably overnight in cold water. Boil wild rice for a long time, in plenty of water.


It is important to understand that not all black rice is wild. In Asia, black rice is grown, which also belongs to the Tsitsania family. This is broadleaf titania, its beans are round and tasteless when cooked, and these beans are grown primarily for the leek-like stems. Rice is a cheap by-product.


Wild rice is a good side dish. It has a nutty taste and a rather dense texture; It is difficult to boil it in porridge. Often, wild rice is mixed with ordinary white rice, which makes the side dish more interesting and attractive, and secondly, justifies the high price of the product.





Medium grain cedar with pearly to amber undertones and a bright, slightly nutty aroma. Medium-grain rare rice that behaves like long-grain when cooked and is often crumbly and slightly sticky at the same time.


Such average indicators make camolino universal - it is also good to prepare side dishes and fillings for pies, add them to salads, pour sauce, and cook pilaf from them.


Sometimes camolino is also called Egyptian rice because of its origin - it grows along the banks of the Nile.




Medium grain rice is grown in the Italian province of Vercelli. A large, beautifully elongated bean with a starch core. The color of the rice should be even, the surface without chips and cracks, otherwise starch will immediately appear on the outside. This is the kind of creamy rice you need for risotto, rice pudding, and baby food.


If you compare it to Arborio, then the carnaroli bean will be denser, larger, and starchy. Due to the abundance of starch, the volume of the carnaroli increases significantly during cooking - by about four times - while maintaining the density of the pulp. For the same reason, carnaroli is considered one of the most nutritious types of rice.


Carnaroli can be boiled or steamed. But they should be consumed hot, while cold cereals, enclosed in a starchy veil, will quickly stick together.


Of the most expensive varieties of rice, it was obtained by Italian breeder Ettore de Vecchi in 1945 by crossbreeding Japanese rice and Vialone Nero. At the same time, rice was named after another Italian - a man named Carnaroli, who supplied water to the rice fields and was very concerned about the business of Di Fica.


Red rice

The rice husk acquires a red color due to natural plant pigments - anthocyanins. If you break the rice, the inside will turn white. Anthocyanins have the ability to bind free radicals, that is, they are antioxidants. Some spoil when the rice is cooked, and the water turns red.


As in the case of brown rice, since the grain is unpolished, the rice retains a large amount of nutrients and fiber.


Various varieties can be red, most of them are long-grained. Red rice is grown all over the world. In Russia, in the Krasnodar Territory, the Rubin variety is grown. Devzira is also referred to as the red varieties.


As a rule, red rice is very crumbly, which makes it an excellent side dish. Heat treatment does not affect the color of the rice.



Long grain red rice grown in France in the Camargue Provencal swamps. Rice has been grown there since the thirteenth century. Rice grown on the shores of swamps has a rich red-brown color, a nutty flavor, and a dense texture, so it needs to cook longer than white rice - about 45 minutes.


Rice for sushi



Varieties of sushi rice are united by one idea: they are small in size, with round and sticky grains. At the same time, the rice keeps its shape well and does not boil. Therefore, sushi rice belongs to the medium amylose varieties. Amylose is part of the starch and is responsible for sticking. If there is too much of it, the rice will not stick together (these varieties are good for risotto). Little - on the contrary, it will become very sticky (which is what happens with sticky rice). Sushi needs a middle ground. Remember, sushi is based on a pressed rice cake, not snotty porridge.


There are many types of this rice. Often, manufacturers do not bother with the inclusion, succinctly indicating on the package that this is sushi rice. In this case, the varieties can be Japanese, Russian or, for example, Italian.





Beautiful round rice with a uniform pearly white color, originally from Spain, grown in the Valencia region. The bomb's source is believed to be a type of Indian rice brought to the Iberian Peninsula via the Middle East.


It absorbs liquid 3 times more than its own weight. At the same time, after cooking, it remains crumbly, which is usually unusual for round grain rice. This is the uniqueness of the type of bomb. Therefore, such rice makes a good porridge - and, of course, it is used in paella, the national Spanish dish. Suitable for pilaf.


Varieties are similar in meaning: Valencia and Calspar.


Glutinous rice



G lutinous, sticky, waxy - these are all the names of one of the varieties of rice grown in Southeast Asia that are distinguished by increased viscosity. As a rule, these are medium-grained varieties. Despite the name, glutinous rice has nothing to do with gluten (by definition, rice does not contain it). It has white, opaque, oblong, even granules.


The starch in this rice has a special structure: it contains little amylose, but a lot of amylopectins. Both substances - polysaccharides belonging to starch, which are amylopectin but are responsible for the viscous texture. To prevent sticking from ending up in foul mucus, this rice is steamed. If you boil it in water, the grains will boil and become covered with a sticky mass. Before cooking, the rice must be washed and soaked in cold water for 5 hours.


It is widely used in Southeast Asian kitchens. Each country uses its own varieties. In addition to adding it directly to dishes, flour is made from it, and rice dough, in turn, is made from flour. Also, this rice is often used in desserts, so it is often called sweet. On its basis, for example, they make Vietnamese banyong dumplings, Thai mango sticky rice pudding, Chinese fan Ba ​​Bao - sweet steamed rice with lard, sugar, eight kinds of nuts, and fruits. In Japan, this rice is used to make flour, which is then used to make urine candy.

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