There are hundreds of different types of rice grown in locations all over the world. In general terms the rice that you buy in the shops can be classified as either processed or whole grain. Processed rice is rice that has been processed to remove the outer hull whilst whole grain rice is not processed in this way. Processed rice is white and is often quicker to cook than wholegrain rice however wholegrain varieties are held to be better for you as they do not lose their inherent nutrients by being processed.
Whole grain rices are also often referred to as brown rices although they can come in many different colours including red and black. Wild rices may also be put in this category however these are not technically rices at all but are the by product of a type of grass.
Rice can be used for different dishes but not all varieties of rice will suit all meal types. Different types of rices used in cooking include:
- Long grain rice - long grain rice is used for certain savoury dishes. Rice here is longer than other varieties and may be used to make the rice that accompanies a curry or a chilli con carne, for example.
- Medium grain rice - these kinds of rice are shorter and fatter than long grain rice but are still primarily used in savoury dishes. So, these rices, for example, are perfect for risottos and paellas.
- Short grain rices - these rices are mainly used for sweet dishes such as rice pudding although varieties here are also used for some savoury dishes such as sushi, for example.