Storing And Handling Grains

Store raw grains at room temperature in a dark, dry place and in a tightly sealed container to keep out moisture and insects. Milled grains such as white rice that have had the germ removed will keep for many months.Whole grains are somewhat more perishable because the fat content of the germ can become rancid.

Depending on the source, whole grains may need to be picked over like dried beans (see p. 610) to remove foreign matter such as tiny stones or bits of soil. In addition, whole grains should usually be washed and drained before cooking.

Rice, our most commonly cooked grain, should be rinsed in cold water before boiling or steaming.This removes the excess starch that makes rice sticky. The rice industry recommends not washing rice because it removes some of the vitamin coating of enriched rice. But that's probably a small price to pay for a more attractive product.This is a decision you will have to make in your own operation.

Do not buy low-grade rice, which tends to be dirty, or rice that has been coated with talc.

Rice cooked by the pilaf method (p. 623) does not need to be washed (unless it is dirty) because the fat coating each kernel helps keep the grains separate and reduces stickiness.

Converted rice and instant rice do not need to be washed.

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