Black rice which is also known as purple rice, forbidden rice, and Chinese black rice is a type of whole-grain rice that is quite dark in color. It can be completely black or more of a dark purple or burgundy with some multicolored kernels. It gets it's a signature black-purple color from a pigment called Anthocyanin. On cooking, black rice turns dark purple. There are two main varieties of black rice found in the market namely Indonesian black rice and Thai jasmine black rice. It was first introduced to the United States in 1995. This species of rice is found growing in tropical zones like China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, and North East India. Black rice is usually sold as a whole grain, with the outermost layer of bran intact, making it technically a type of brown, or unrefined, rice. The taste of black rice is very similar to that of brown rice and is often described as having a “nutty” flavor. It’s quite dense and chewy. Depending on the method of cooking, black rice can also be quite sticky.
Choose clear plastic bags through which you can see the rice, or ask the store owner to show you a sample of the brand that you wish to purchase. This rice can vary from a very dark plum color to brown or nearly black, but should never be light brown or faded as it indicates deterioration of quality. Avoid bags with a larger percentage of broken grains, as these will cook faster and be mushy.
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