Types of Rice

The Long, Medium and Short of U.S. Rice

As rice spread throughout the world, it hybridized to such a degree that today there are more than 40,000 different strains. All of them, however, can be grouped in three basic types according to their size: long, medium and short grain.

LONG GRAIN:

Grains are slender and typically four to five times as long as they are wide and should be at least 3/8 inch (7 mm) in length. Long grain rice cooks into fluffy, separate grains and is often used in entrées, in soups and pilafs or as a side dish.

MEDIUM GRAIN:

Wider and shorter than long grain rice, these rice varieties are generally two to three times longer than wide and average about 1/4 inch (5 to 6 mm) in length. Cooked medium grains have a moister and stickier consistency than long grain rice. Medium grain rice is ideal for risottos, desserts and puddings.

SHORT GRAIN:

Short grain rice has an almost round appearance. Short grain varieties are typically less than 1/4 inch (4-5 mm) long and 1/8 inch (2.5 mm) wide. These varieties become noticeably starchy/sticky when cooked. In general, short grain rice absorbs less water than long grain rice and is a perfect grain for sushi.

Where is U.S. rice grown?
U.S. rice is grown in six states including: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi and Texas.
STATE RICE VARIETIES GROWN IN STATE ACRES (PER YEAR)
Arkansas Long, medium and short grain varieties 1.2 million
Louisiana Long and medium grain varieties 550,000
California Long, medium and short grain varieties 420,000
Mississippi Long grain varieties 160,000
Texas Long and medium grain varieties 135,000
Missouri Long and medium grain varieties 120,000