Rice is the main carbohydrate in many parts of Asia, particularly South Asia. In places such as Thailand, the chances are that the ‘cheap filler’ (in sausages for example) is rice rather than wheat. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, South East Asia is a great destination.
Other areas where rice is the staple include India, South China, parts of Africa and Latin America. Note that in some areas, rice and wheat are dual staples so that you can not depend on eating gluten-free just because you travel to these areas or eat in ‘ethnic’ restaurants. Still, it is a good start to avoiding gluten.
Rice has been widely adopted throughout the world. I’ve seen it everywhere I’ve traveled. The chances are that where ever you live, you’ll have access to rice.
Rice is probably more dependably gluten-free since it is usually grown in different areas from gluten grains such as wheat, rye, oats and barley. This is especially true if the rice comes form India or Asia.
There are thousands of varieties of rice, but in western supermarkets, even ‘ethnic’ stores, you won’t see that much choice. This article looks at basic types. We’ll look at more ‘exotic’ types in another article.
Long Grain White Rice
This is the most popular type of rice world-wide. Some countries such as Thailand produce enormous quantities of rice, but most of it is consumed locally.
Quality does vary from country to country. Thai is the best in my opinion, Malaysian still good but not as nice. US rice is somewhere in between. This is what you are most likely to find in North America and Europe.
White rice is simply brown rice with the husk removed. It is therefore less nutritious and lacks roughage. It also has less taste. This makes it go well with almost anything, making it a universal choice for most meals.
White rice is a good place to start if you are using more of it to maintain your gluten free diet.
Long Grain Brown Rice
Long grain brown rice is also a great choice to expand your gluten-free diet. It has grater nutrition than white rice and a nice nutty taste. It is also chewier, which is nice if you like more texture.
It also takes longer to cook, which is a disadvantage when you are not used to it.
Short Grain Brown Rice
Short grain brown rice has a slightly different taste from long grain brown rice. Some consider it to be superior in taste. It is excellent even with just butter, pepper if you’re really stuck for an easy gluten free meal.
How To Cook Rice
See the separate article on how to cook rice.