in my shopping basket: red rice.

if you have spent any time on guam or with a guamanian, you think of red rice as being that luridly orange-tinted rice dish found on every fiesta plate. that's for another post. this is about natural red rice.

i'd go into the history of rice, but uncccgh, it's friday afternoon and the sun is shining, so just look at the excellent riceweb.org site. suffice it to say, rice is the most important starch in the average asian household. you'll find a jar-type rice cooker in 9 out of 10 houses on this island, and a pot of rice on the burner in half all the rest.

i actually don't like rice all that much. it took my entire university career to almost sort of finish a 5 pound sack of white, and even though i lived in california, i never got into eating straight crunchy hard brown. however, this stuff i do like.

pecuaria's "healthy rice" brand is actually an umbrella brand for a growing group of independent organic rice growers in the philippines. it was created 4 years ago, but only recently has been relaunched and made widely available throughout the country. as far as i know, it is not yet available outside of the p.i. (my dad lugs this stuff over everytime he goes). pecuaria's has several varieties of rice available, from unpolished white short grain to this, their premium red long grained rice. the colours refer to the tint of the hull (or lack of hull in white rice's case), and red hulled rices are more commonly found in the less cultivated of the two species: oryza glaberrima (the more common being oryza sativa.) yeah, okay, whatever. bottom line it's an excellent rice: sweet, nutty, but silky soft with just a hint of bran, and not prone to spoilage if your household's the type to cook up a giant pot and dip into during the week.

it's a bit pricey for the average filipino, 75 pesos (US$1.34) for a 2 kilo bag, but it can be mixed with other rices with great results. also, it helps the independent and organic farm communities as a whole; with the success of the "healthy rice" brand, there are plans underway to create a "healthy sugar" brand for organic sugar cane farmers.


Hi *smiles* I love reading your blog and it's now one of my favorites! I lived on Guam in 1999 and used to love visiting the Vietnamese restaurants for that long thick fried lumpia that you roll in lettuce leaves with carrots and noodles. I also loved their beef with lemon grass. Could you help me with recipes for any of these dishes? I'm now in the D.C. area and can't find those tasty treats that I so loved on Guam.

Hello again - This has always been my favorite rice when I was growing up in the Philippines (Cebu). Everytime I go home, my usual request from dear old Mama: grilled fish, mongo with nothing but ginger and malunggay and red rice. Everybody else in my family thinks I'm weird for loving this rice while they prefer the super white rice.

mavar you have good taste!