White vs. Brown

People often ask; what is the difference between white rice and brown rice? They both come from the same rice grain or plant. The main difference between the two forms of rice is in the milling process. This  process affects the color and nutritional content of the rice.

When only the
hull, or outermost layer of a grain of rice is removed, the result is brown rice. When the next layers are removed, the bran layer and the germ, leaving the starchy endosperm, white rice is produced.

Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories and carbohydrates. However, brown rice contains more iron and fiber.  Brown rice usually has a nuttier flavor and chewiness compared to white rice and requires a longer cooking time.



Wild rice is not a grain

Wild rice is actually an aquatic grass, not a grain, though it’s referred to as rice because it looks and cooks like all other types of rice.

Zizania aquatica or Zizania palustris (Wild rice) is a semi-aquatic grass that grows in shallow water in small lakes and slow-flowing streams that are 2 to 4 feet in depth. Cultivated wild rice is grown in less than a foot of water, but consistent water depth is essential to nurture the growing wild rice plant.  Wild rice is not directly related to Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice)which we consume commonly now.  

photo: smartparentshealthykids.com

photo: smartparentshealthykids.com

Wild rice originated in the area of the upper Great Lakes both in the U.S. and Canada. By law, in order to preserve and protect  this species of uncultivated Minnesota wild rice ("wild" wild rice), it must be harvested and milled in the traditional Native American way by those licensed to do so.


Type of Rice by Color

White rice  is a refined milled grain which the husk,  germ and bran have been removed. This process prevents storage.

White rice is a refined milled grain which the husk,  germ and bran have been removed. This process prevents storage.

Brown Rice  is unmilled whole grain rice and is more   nutritious and flavorful than white rice.

Brown Rice is unmilled whole grain rice and is more nutritious and flavorful than white rice.

Black Rice      is one of the ancient rices that  the grain was served exclusively by the Emperors of China to bring youth and longevity.

Black Rice is one of the ancient rices that  the grain was served exclusively by the Emperors of China to bring youth and longevity.

Red rice  is   generally unhulled or hulled rice which has more red husk.  It could refer to a wild variety of rice which has a very low grain yield, some Asian countries regard it as a weed. 

Red rice is generally unhulled or hulled rice which has more red husk.  It could refer to a wild variety of rice which has a very low grain yield, some Asian countries regard it as a weed.