Saying something is forbidden makes people want it all the more. Just think about the way Prohibition backfired, or how banned books always sneak their way onto best-seller lists. Black Rice—once classified as “forbidden” in ancient China—is now freely available, yet it still possesses all those alluring qualities that once made Emperors want to hoard it for themselves.
Trader Joe’s Black Rice is an aromatic Indica (“of India”) variety of Orza Sativa (“cultivated rice”) grown for us in the lush rice paddies of Thailand. Unlike white rice, which has the bran removed, this rice retains the bran layer—meaning it’s 100% whole grain and rife with fiber. When raw, it appears in various shades of black and dark brown. When cooked, the rice exhibits an indigo tint. This purplish color results from plentiful amounts of anthocyanins—the same pigmentary stuff that makes blueberries blue and blackberries black. As a class of antioxidants, anthocyanins are also deemed by many to possess profound health benefits.
Whether or not Black Rice actually makes you healthier remains for the FDA to conclude, but it won’t take any scientific experimentation to prove the delectable nutty, creamy, slightly sweet flavor of this rice. That hint of sweetness inspires Thai cooks to incorporate Black Rice into dessert dishes like rice pudding—though we find that it works equally well in savory recipes. The relatively short cooking time of 25 minutes—about half the cooking time of brown rice—is pretty sweet, too!
Bottom-line is this: We forbid you to try this rice. (Assuming our reverse psychology is working, you’ll need to know that our Black Rice is shelved next to the other more “legal” grains at your neighborhood Trader Joe’s.) If it wasn’t forbidden (wink, wink), we’d be selling the 1-pound bag for $2.69.