I am not sure how many chowhounds out there are interested in obtaining "real" wild rice (meaning not raised in a paddy), but it doesn't appear to be obtainable in the city. I haven't tried SJ or the East Bay, so if there are sources there, I'd be interested to know. The only wild rice available that I've found is definitely paddy-raised -- little black beads that cook up to a black-and-grey grain, absorbing 3 times its volume in water. This is good, better than not having any wild rice, surely, but the real thing is so much different. I still have a supply of my own wild rice -- which is actually river rice, and grows completely wild in rivers near their mouths flowing into lakes in Minnesota and Canada. It's harvested by hand in canoes. The difference between that and paddy rice is marked -- truly wild rice is a much longer grain (though it's actually a seed), absorbs even more water, and has a much milder, though still marked, nuttiness which is so prized in wild rice. It works equally well as a savory with a game or meat course, or as a breakfast or sweetened grain with milk, sugar, etc. It cooks up to a much lighter grey, and, if cooked properly retains a slight crunch while still being thoroughly digestible! (People who've only had paddy wild rice have complained to me about this, since it is hard to cook paddy rice properly).
The source I use is mail order, since not even I get to Federal Dam, Minnesota that often. I can personally vouch that this is completely hand-harvested and -parched, truly wild uncultivated river rice, from a beautifully remote place. I've seen it done. It's about 5.95 a pound last time I ordered (they sell organic honey too, I think, but you can get that here), but the price may have gone up a bit depending on the quantity of last year's harvest. That's the breaks with truly wild food. Still a bargain considering the wonderful whole food you're getting. Here it is;
Indian Mission Enterprises
Federal Dam, Minnesota 56641
Just write and tell them how many pounds you like. Send a check for the estimated amount, and they'll bill you for the difference/shipping etc.
I've tried the health stores here, too, and many of them don't even carry wild rice, even the paddy kind!
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