Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or less commonly O. glaberrima (African rice). The name wild rice is usually used for species of the genera Zizania and Porteresia, both wild and domesticated, although the term may also be used for primitive or uncultivated varieties of Oryza.
Botanical Name: Oryza Sativa
Length and Shape
Rice is often characterized as one of three varieties – long grain, medium grain, or short grain rice. These varieties refer to the length and shape of the grain. Simply speaking, long grain rice will have a longer cylindrical shape, whereas short grain rice will be shorter and wider.
Long Grain Rice
This rice has milled grains that are at least three to four times as long as they are wide. Due to its starch composition, it is separate, light and fluffy when cooked.
Medium Grain Rice
When compared to long grain rice, medium grain rice has a shorter, wider kernel. Since the cooked grains are more moist and tender than long grain rice, the rice has a greater tendency to stick together.
Short Grain Rice
Featuring grains that are less than twice as long as they are wide, this rice is short and best for sushi. It has a sticky texture when cooked.
When cooking rice dishes, you’ll want to think about the desired texture of the rice. The starch content varies from rice type to rice type. It will affect whether rice is sticky or light and fluffy.
Also known as sweet rice, sticky rice is grown mainly in Southeast and East Asia and is used in many traditional Asian dishes, desserts, and sweets. When cooked, sticky rice is especially sticky and is often ground into rice flour.