Rice Rapt 米戀

14 03 2009

rice-bagI’m sitting in my friend Anne Chen’s kitchen in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve, 2008, telling her about my ideas for a new food blog. She pauses for a moment, and then reaches up into a high cabinet and pulls out this small, hard, vacuum-packed bag of rice.

“Have you heard of xiang mi (香米)?”

I had not. Apparently it’s some sort of epic rice grown in dry (yes, dry!) rice paddies in the high mountains of central Taiwan. Anne said it was supposed to be delightfully “Q” (chewy in Taiwanese) and possibly even smell or taste like sweet taro root. And she was eager to get her hands on more — even if it cost five bucks a bag (which it does). Her foodie friend Dave, who had given her that first bag, was also itching to get a new shipment.

So I agreed to look into this mysterious rice, and vowed to not only order some, but to get to the bottom of this whole dry rice paddy thing. fragrant rice

When I got back to Taiwan, I called the toll-free number on their web page and ordered 20 bags of rice, which were delivered to my office the next day, C.O.D. (which is all the rage in Taiwan these days).

I went home immediately and cooked a cup of rice to find out what all the fuss was. I measured out 9/10 of a cup of water (as recommended on the bag), and tossed it in my rice cooker and waited. Soon the sweet smell of cooking rice (with perhaps a touch of taro?) filled my small Taipei apartment. This was no ordinary rice!




2 responses

2 05 2009
Anne C.

Despite Victor’s careful rationing, we are almost out and will need to order another 20 bags soon. 🙂

2 05 2009

I can definitely arrange that for you, if you’d like! BTW… I’m still trying to figure out sound stuff, but I will eventually post a short clip of the interview I did with the rice people!

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