The folks at Lotus Foods recently sent a few samples of their exotic rice. The company specializes in handcrafted rice from small family farms in remote areas of the world, and it has marketed several heirloom rice varieties that may otherwise have become extinct. It also works closely with the small family farms in order to provide them with an "honorable living." It's an interesting concept, and I must admit, the bags of green, red, and black rice have often caught my eye at the grocery store. Yet looks and mission are one thing; what I wanted to know is how it tasted. To find out if it's worth more than $4 for a pound of rice,
The first rice I tasted was the Jade Pearl Rice. The Jade Pearl was like a regular medium-grain rice, but with a slight green tint and subtle bamboo flavor. The website claims a "light vanilla taste," but I didn't experience that at all.
The second rice I tasted was the intriguingly black Organic Forbidden Rice. It cooked up quickly and surprised me with its nutty taste. The texture was a little bit nuttier than regular rice; it reminded me of short-grain brown rice. The color was fantastic and looked great with my dinner. However, the cooking process was a bit messy. When I took the lid off of the pot, the condensation dripped down and I noticed my white stove was splattered with purple dots.
So, given that the price is quite steep — 11.25 pounds of the Organic Forbidden Rice sells for $49.08, while 10 pounds of standard Calrose rice can be found for $10.18 — would I buy it again? The answer is yes, but I probably wouldn't make it my everyday rice. As much as I liked the flavor and the company mission, I just didn't find it economically sensible. However, I would definitely pick up some for a dinner party or as a treat to myself. Either way, it's worth trying, and if it becomes an expensive habit of yours, don't say I didn't warn you first!