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5 Types of Aromatic Rice
Rice as a food and an ingredient has been a subject of a lot of interest over the past few decades. As that has happened, there has been a growing interest in a type of rice called aromatic rice. Three things have led to this interest: globalization, health concerns and culinary changes. The result has been the widespread development of new types of aromatic rice along with increased production in more common types of this rice.
What is Aromatic Rice?
Aromatic rice is normal rice that has been treated with chemicals to give off an aroma (hence the name). Of course, it doesn't just smell good; there are subtleties in the taste of the food as well.
Why Aromatic Rice Has Become So Popular
Three different things seem to have led to the growth in popularity of aromatic rice:
- Globalization. Increased travel along with access to the Internet has made it possible for us to learn about many different types of food cultures around the world. As we are exposed to more and more tastes from different regions, we take an interest in different foods. We may add new twists to those foods to accommodate our own tastes and the preferences of our region. This has definitely happened with aromatic rice. We learned over the past few decades about new types of rice and new flavors that could be added to rice. The interest in new aromatic rices grew as a result.
- Health-consciousness. In the past few decades we have all become increasingly aware of the need to eat healthier. We don't always do it but we're at least generally aware of what we should be doing. Rice has become a subject of much conversation in that time since it has been shown that brown rice is more nutritious than white rice. Aromatic rice can be either white or brown and has been added to the conversation about healthy rice. The new flavors of aromatic brown rice may be more appealing than plain brown rice for someone who is making the health-conscious switch from white rice to brown rice.
- Culinary changes. Many people are starting to use foods in their own kitchens that were formerly only used by professional chefs. Instead of just making a meal, many novice chefs are exploring their own culinary preferences from within the confines of their own kitchens. This trend has been exacerbated by the Food Network, the rise in affordable cooking schools and other access to new culinary information. As this has happened, there has been an increased demand for former novelty foods like aromatic rice.
5 Popular Types of Aromatic Rice
So which types of rice are aromatic? Well, any rice that has been chemically treated to alter it into a form of rice that smells and tastes different than natural is an aromatic rice. However, some types are more common than others. Five of the most popular types of aromatic rice are:
- Basmati. This Indian rice has become one of the most popular types of aromatic rice sold around the world. It is a long-grain rice which means that it tends to be fluffy but not sticky.
- Texmati. This is a fairly new form of aromatic rice that was made to suit the tastes of Americans who had been exposed to Basmati aromatic rice. It is made by mixing traditional Basmati rice with a form of American long grain rice.
- Jasmine. Jasmine rice is an aromatic rice that comes from China (as well as other parts of Asia). There is a special form of Jasmine rice that is harvested green. However all Jasmine rice is aromatic rice. This is another popular imported aromatic rice.
- Wehani. This is a very unique form of aromatic rice that has been created to appeal primarily to American amateur cooks. It is designed to split while it is cooking and to emit a smell that is very similar to popcorn. If there is a rice that is close to popcorn in nature then this is it.
- Wild Pecan. This is another aromatic rice that has been cultivated and created specifically to accommodate the growing demand for aromatic rice. This type of rice is, as its name suggests, a nutty rice.