ARKANSAS SPOTLIGHT: RICE, CUISINE & CULTURE

Arkansas is the #1 rice-producing state in the country, so it's only natural that rice plays an integral role in the state's economy, cuisine and culture. Accounting for 49% of the rice grown in the United States, long and medium grain rice are highly regarded by chefs and operators, and are the most popular rice types used in foodservice, providing a wholesome balance to popular comfort dishes. With interest in regional cuisine and farm-to-table food at an all-time high, highlighting U.S.-grown rice on your menu can boost your sales. Read on for more from Arkansas, including recipes, trends and a chef feature.


     
 

Fall is the perfect time to get back to basics, and rice is an essential ingredient in your kitchen. U.S.–grown rice, like the versatile varieties grown in Arkansas, is ideal for featuring classic and regional items on your menu. Find more recipes at MenuRice.com:

 
     
 
Country Breakfast Cereal: A hearty bowl of cereal, chock full of raisins and cinnamon.
   
Back Country Rice and Beans: Country cooks are famous for their slow-cooked baked beans. This combination includes rice, hickory smoked bacon and OLD BAY® seasoning.
   
Rice and Corn Pudding: This savory rice pudding with corn is a rich complement to seasonal comfort dishes.
   
Turkey Meatloaf with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette: Rice and cream make this turkey meatloaf moist and rich.
 
     
  Feature gluten-free recipes during October's Celiac Awareness Month:  
     
     
  Congratulations to the new Miss Arkansas 2011 Kristen Glover, who grew up in a Arkansas rice family.
"I grew up in a home where my father worked in the rice industry and my mom knew how to incorporate rice into every meal. We take pride in the quality and nutrition of our rice!"
 
  With the growing interest in food origins, we introduce you to several Arkansas rice farming experts who take pride in being part of America's agricultural abundance.  
     
  Find out more about Arkansas Foodservice Rice Suppliers: Producers Rice Mill, Inc. and Riceland Foods, Inc.  
     
  "Back-to-the-source" puts farmers and producers into the spotlight.  
     
  Did you know? During the winter months, rice farmers capture rainwater in rice fields, creating vital resting and foraging habitat for migratory waterfowl.  
     

 

Good southern food "prepared with purpose" is at the core of Chef Lee Richardson's culinary philosophy. As the recent "The People's Best New Chef – Midwest" award recipient and Executive Chef at the Capital Hotel in Little Rock, Arkansas, Chef Lee uses his extensive training and love for food to create soulful dishes with a southern essence. With a cooking background in two rice-growing states, Chef Lee talks about how U.S.-grown rice is incorporated throughout his menu.

 
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