Rice and Other Grains

Reading Guide

Prepare with a Partner Before you read, work with a partner. Read the titles of the heads and ask each other questions about the topics that will be discussed. Write down the questions you both have about each section. As you read, answer the questions you have identified.

Content Vocabulary

Read to Learn

Key Concepts

• Describe different varieties of rice. j Identify common grains. j Demonstrate various cooking methods used for rice and other grains.

Main Idea

Grains have a high nutritional value and can be dried for storage for long periods of time. This makes them a popular diet staple.

Graphic Organizer

As you read, use a herringbone organizer like this one to list the seven types and varieties of rice.

• grain

• wheat

• rice

• couscous

• risotto

• corn

• brown rice

• polenta

• white rice

• hominy

• enriched rice

• masa harina

• parboiled rice

• pilaf

• barley


• oat

• risotto

• oat berry


Academic Vocabulary

[J Mathematics

NCTM Number and Operations Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems.

j r Social Studies NCSS IXC Global Connections Analyze and evaluate the effects of changing technologies on the global community.

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English

NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics NSES National Science Education Standards

NCSS National Council for the Social Studies

/Sk Graphic Organizer Go to this book's Online Learning Center at glencoe.com for a printable graphic organizer.

Grains are a staple in the diets of people around the world. This is because of the variety of grains, and the fact that they store well and have high nutritional value. A grain is a single, small, hard seed. Grains are packed with nutrients. The main nutrients in grains are in the form of carbohydrates and fat. Grains are usually dried for storage. Cooking grains with liquid adds water back to the dried grains. This makes the grain tender and edible. There is a wide variety of grains to choose from. Rice, wheat, and corn are three of the most common grains. Others include barley, oats, cornmeal, and hominy. By learning how to prepare rice and other grains, you will be able to prepare a variety of dishes.

Rice, the starchy seeds of a cereal grass, is served around the world. Rice picks up the flavors of other foods so it is often served as part of a main dish. Rice increases in volume as it cooks and yields a high profit.

All varieties of rice come in different grain types: short-grain, long-grain, and medium-grain.

j Short-Grain Short-grain rice contains the most starch. It becomes sticky when cooked, but is the most tender type of rice. Short-grain rice is used in risotto, for example. Risotto is a rice dish in which the grain has been sauteed in butter, and then simmered in a flavored cooking liquid, which has been added gradually to the rice until it has finished cooking.

• Medium-Grain Medium-grain rice is firm when it is hot. It becomes sticky, like short-grain rice, when it cools.

• Long-Grain Like short-grain rice, long-grain rice remains slightly firm when cooked properly. However, it should not become sticky when cooked. The grains of rice separate easily after cooking. Long-grain rice can be used in just about any food dish.

Rice And Other Grains
Rice Grains Pictured here are different grain types of rice. How do rice grain types differ?

Processing Rice

All three types of rice can be processed. Processing rice removes the hull, or outer covering, from the grain. If the grain is left alone, the rice is brown. If the grain is polished, the rice is white. White rice can be processed even further, producing converted rice and instant rice. Rice varieties are helpful in selecting rice for different menus.

Brown Rice

Rice that has had the hull, or outer covering, removed but is unpolished, is called brown rice. Brown rice has a tan color, a chewy texture, and slightly nutty taste. Available in long-grain, short-grain, and medium-grain, brown rice takes longer to cook and needs more cooking liquid than white rice.

White Rice

White rice has had the outer layers of the grain removed. Without the outer layers, the rice grain is white and cooks more quickly with less water. White rice has a lighter texture, but is also lower in some vitamins and minerals. There are many varieties of white rice: long-grain rice, short-grain rice, hard rice, soft rice, and enriched rice. Enriched rice has a vitamin and mineral coating added to the grain. This makes up for nutrients lost when the outer coating is removed. All types of white rice can be enriched.

Converted Rice

Converted rice, sometimes referred to as parboiled rice, has been partially cooked with steam and then dried. This process removes some of the surface starch and increases the nutrient value by forcing nutrients from the outer layer into the grain. After it is steamed, the rice is polished and milled. This results in a light, white-grain rice that has more nutrients than regular white rice.

Converted rice can be used in the same way as regular white rice, except that converted rice takes longer to cook and requires slightly more liquid. It also becomes very fluffy. The grains do not clump together if they are served from a steam table.

Specialty Rice

Many interesting, flavorful types of rice have made their way into American menus from a variety of foreign foods. These rices, with their different textures and flavors, offer foodservice professionals an interesting option, or choice, for including rice in planning menus.

Rice Handling and Storage

Uncooked rice should be stored in airtight containers at room temperature in a dry, dark room. White rice has a long shelf life if properly stored because the sprouting portion of the grain, which contains oil, has been removed with the hull. Brown rice, even when properly stored, has a shorter shelf life because the grain contains oil, which causes the rice to spoil sooner.

After rice has been cooked, it should be used as soon as possible. Its high protein content and neutral pH mean it can spoil easily and be dangerous to eat if left too long at room temperature. Make sure to refrigerate any unused, cooked rice as soon as possible.

the three main types of rice grains?

Other Grains

Although rice is a very versatile, or adaptable, and popular grain, there are many other grains that can add variety and nutrition to the menu. The high carbohydrate and protein content of traditional grains, such as oats, wheat, and barley, can add nutritional value and flavor to any meal. In addition, specialty grains, such as kasha ('ka-shs), quinoa ('ken-wa), and triti-cale ('tri-ts-'ka-le), offer diverse flavors, textures, and colors.

Grains are also an important part of menu planning because they can be used from breakfast to dinner to prepare many different kinds of dishes. For example, kasha and oatmeal make excellent breakfast cereals. Cracked wheat can be used in cold salads.


Continue reading here: Popular Specialty Rices

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