Wilderness Family Naturals is proud to offer natural wild rice grown in the clear, pure water of Canada.
Hand Parched Wild Rice
This wild rice from inland lakes in Canada, hand parched by Ojibwa Indians using traditional methods. Cook time approximately 15-20 minutes.
Most wild rice available in grocery stores across America is what is referred to as "paddy rice". This rice is grown similar to brown rice in rice paddies primarily located in California, but some production is done in Minnesota and other locations. It cooks uniformly, and is consistently the same year after year because it is a cultivated, hybridized wild rice developed by the University of Minnesota. There is a huge difference between "real" wild rice and paddy rice. Wilderness Family Naturals does not sell any paddy rice. All rice found on this website is the "real McCoy".
"Real" wild rice grows wild in the clear cool lakes near our facilities. It is not genetically modified and has not been altered like most of the other grains available in the US. This wild rice requires just the right conditions to grow and only grows naturally in northern Minnesota and in Canada just north of us. The water has to be at a certain level, and it needs to flow slightly, but not too much so that it uproots the plants. The bottom of the lake needs to have rich humus, and the temperatures need to be like those you see in this area: COLD! Given those conditions, you can grow a wonderfully delicious, natural, wild rice (which is actually an aquatic grass with large seed heads).
Wild Rice, the real wild rice, will not grow in rice paddies nor can it be cultivated. This is a natural grain, native to Minnesota that is not a "farm crop" and cannot be "cultivated". While the hybridized "paddy rice" may resemble its ancestor, real wild rice is the ancestor. Like the ancient parents of many heirloom seeds and grains, this rice grows on non-depleted soils at the bottom of pristine lakes and is planted by "Mother Nature".
Once the rice is harvested it looks just like large, green, grass seed. These seeds are then parched to remove the husk and cause the starches inside the seed to restructure. Without the parching process this grain (seed) would not cook into "rice" nor "puff" into the tender twisted, nutty flavored strands that we love.
"Hand Parched" wild rice has been parched by Ojibwe Indians in a wood fired parcher using their traditional methods. This wild rice results in a lighter colored wild rice than the Canadian Jumbo above. It also cooks much faster (15-20 minutes). Most Native Americans and many others prefer this type of wild rice. It is definitely the best choice if you live a fast paced life or do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen. This rice is delicious, lighter in color than the Canadian Jumbo and possibly a bit less chewy and softer, though both types of wild rice are wonderfully delicious.
All three varieties of wild rice have great flavor and cook up light and fluffy. They can be substituted 100% for any other type of rice in a recipe and make a wonderful side dish.