This blog has some nice pictures of this new rice. It is a more vibrant green prior to cooking and fades just slightly after cooking, but is still quite pretty. The blog pictures are on target on how the rice looks before and after cooking.
The pearl rice is infused with bamboo extract giving it the lovely color and supposedly is more nutritious.
The vendor writes on their site that the extract is “made from the Moso species of bamboo that grows in the virgin highland forest of south central China”
As far as the flavor, it is nice but IMO, the copywriting is on the fanciful, romantic side claiming “when cooked, produces the aroma of a bamboo forest, a light vanilla taste”
Yeah, right ... not AFAIK. Then again, I've never been in a bamboo forest ... but I know what vanilla tastes like.
There was a little bamboo-ish essence and flavor at first, but it is not too strong. However, what I do like so much about the rice is the texture which is a little sticky yet light and fluffy. It holds together nicely, so if using it for a molded rice salad it would keep its shape. I think it would be great used for a rice pudding with the nice color and maybe sprinkled with pistachios. I’m going to give that a try.
This site which talks about products at a Natural Foods expo writes ...
“bamboo extract functions as an aging-, fatigue- and cardiovascular disease-inhibitor, mood and immune modulator, and anti-bacterial, anti-viral agent. Best of all, however, is that the rice is delicious and is hearty enough to stand up to meat dishes, and delicate enough for sushi or rice pudding.”
Can’t address the possible health benefits, but I totally agree with the last sentence about its versatility in cooking. It paired beautifully with some lamb/rosemary sausages and the red wine I had for lunch.
For those in the SF Bay Area, I bought it from the bulk bins at Berkeley Bowl The company is based in El Cerrito.
This site says that Whole Foods sells it. They also like the organic Forbidden rice that Lotus Foods sells.
Lotus Foods also sells it online