ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mahnomen--wild rice

Updated on November 26, 2010

Wild rice--zizania palustris

What does mahnomen mean? According to Warren Upham, in his book, Minnesota Geographic Names, mahnomen, also spelled mahnoomin, is the Ojibwa word for wild rice. Its scientific name is Zizania palustris, and it grows wild on rivers and lakes in harmony with the earth. According to the kstrom.net website (see under links, more reading about wild rice), the month that wild rice is harvested is called Manoominike Giizis.

Wild rice harvesting is traditionally done by hand from canoes and is labor intensive. One person steers the canoe and the other person bends the plant over the keel and strikes it so that the grains fall into the canoe. This is the way that the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwa) have harvested mahnomen for hundreds of years. When you eat traditional wild rice, you are part of this tradition, part of this food chain. Wild rice is pure and organic and loved by cooks for its unique nutty flavor.

Here's the bad news. At the same time that wild rice crops have diminished in their native habitats, fewer Anishinaabeg became willing to harvest it, and when the food producers realized how much of a market there was for wild rice, they started cultivating it--think giant rice paddies, tons of chemicals, and huge machines to harvest the rice.

Traditional cedar basket for gathering wild rice.
Traditional cedar basket for gathering wild rice. | Source
Wild rice grains
Wild rice grains | Source

How to choose authentic Indian wild rice

When buying wild rice, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the business Native American owned? If you buy Native American, you support Native American.
  2. Are you buying from the big agribusiness or a small tribal business?  After all, if you can buy artisanal cheeses to support cheesemakers, why not support the traditional way of life?
  3. Where is it harvested? I like Bineshi because it is located in Leech Lake, which is where my Meti ancestor was born. I like the Indian wild rice website because I had a Lac Court Oreille ancestor too.
  4. How is the rice harvested? The traditional way by hand froma  canoe which doesn't damage the vegetation? You're good. Canoe vs giant machine--which way  is in harmony with nature?
  5. How is it parched? The traditional way by wood or by propane?
  6. Are the batches mixed? According to the Bineshii website, they don't mix batches, so all your rice comes from the same location--river bed or pond--kind of like apples from the same tree.

 

A
leech lake reservation:
Leech Lake Indian Reservation, North Cass, MN, USA

get directions

Nutritional qualities of wild ice

Wild rice is high in protein and niacin, which is important for heart health and has been used to lower triglycerides.  It is also low in fat and gluten free.

I am making wild rice today as a side dish for duckling a l'orange. I looked on the label and couldn't tell where the rice came from, which means it is probably not authentic, traditional wild rice.

I'm a little sad, because authentic wild rice is so good, for example in wild rice soup, especially cream based soups or with a little chicken added.

What is wild rice? It is not actually rice but Zizania palustris which is a grass, Accordiing to the USDA, its classification is:.

Kingdom Plantae – Plants

Subkingdom Tracheobionta – Vascular plants

Superdivision Spermatophyta – Seed plants

Division Magnoliophyta

Flowering plantsClass Liliopsida – Monocotyledons

Subclass Commelinidae

Order Cyperales

Family Poaceae – Grass family

Genus Zizania L. – wildrice

Species Zizania palustris L. – northern wildrice

(http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ZIPA3, accessed 11/25/2010)

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      rc 

      7 years ago

      thanks

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 

      7 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks for the info and great resource list. Looking forward to checking out your Thanksgiving Day meal hub!

    • minnow profile imageAUTHOR

      minnow 

      7 years ago from Seattle

      thanks, Mike. wild rice is one of my favorite foods!

    • MikeSyrSutton profile image

      MikeSyrSutton 

      7 years ago from An uncharted galaxy

      This is a cool hub about Zizania palustris,lol aka Wild Rice! Love it.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)