The name ''new crop,'' refers to short grain rice that is milled and cooked within two months of its harvest. The taste of new crop short grain rice is cleaner and has a sweeter flavor. It also tends to be stickier because the rice grains have retained some moisture. The taste and texture of new crop rice is ideal when served alone.
Old crop rice tends to be less sticky because it contains less moisture. It is ideal for dishes like fried rice or curry rice. Interestingly, most sushi restaurants in Japan use old crop rice because as it loses moisture it develops small hairline surface cracks which permit vinegar to be absorbed better.
Most rice in the United States is harvested and run over a high-heat drying table, a process that converts the kernels to mature, aged rice without any remaining new crop quality.
In contrast to short grain rice, premium long-grain Basmati rice is aged 12 to 18 months to intensify its aromatic properties. This rice complements the heat, spice and complexity of Indian food.