The price is a bit wild, but it's not a rice

Wild rice is an American delicacy as highly prized by some as truffles from France and Italy or the finest caviar from Russia. It is actually not a true rice, but the grain of a wild aquatic grass grown mostly in the Northern United States.

Unlike other indigenous foods discovered in the New World, wild rice is not plentiful. It grows mostly in Minnesota, and has been cultivated experimentally in California for the past 10 years, although the supply is still limited.

The wonderful nutty flavor and interesting texture of wild rice make it popular in spite of its high price, which is due partly to the difficulties of harvesting. It is often mixed with white or brown rice to economize, and onions, mushrooms, or nuts can be added.

A pound of wild rice can make as much as 20 to 30 servings, making the cost per serving less than 25 cents.

Cooking is easy, and wild rice can become a special company dish served with meats, poultry, or an all-vegetable meal. Cooked rice freezes well in sealed plastic bags. Basic Wild Rice 1 cup wild rice 4 cups salted water

Wash rice. In heavy saucepan add water and bring to boil. Simmer covered about 45 minutes or until tender. Fluff with fork and simmer 5 minutes. Drain excess liquid, if any. Serve with butter. Baked Wild Rice 1 cup wild rice 3 cups water 3 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules

Wash rice. Combine with water and bouillon in baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F. 1 1/2 hours.

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