Overhead of grilled corn and grains in bowl

Colored rices are splashing across U.S. menus, evidenced by the recently released National Restaurant Association’s 2011 What’s Hot survey of chef-members of the American Culinary Federation.

Dominating starches and side dishes? Rices in black and red. 

Also picking up on the trend are the folks at the National Culinary Review with a stunning profile of red rice in their February issue.

Several drivers of interest in include novelty on the plate and greater demand for heirloom foods. More important, black and red rices carry a better-for-you nutritional profile, according to Michael Holleman, Director of Culinary Development for category leader InHarvest.

“Our red and black rices offer the whole-grain goodness that an increasing number of diners seek,” he says. “What’s more, both rices contain anthocyanins—the antioxidants found in blueberries, grapes and acai—that have been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.”

Red and black rices are nuttier-tasting and heartier than white rice, making them strategic in development of rice dishes with customer appeal. And for enhanced menu intrigue through color, red rice retains its hue when cooked, whereas black rice turns a stunning deep, dark purple.

Look no further if you want to bring this trend to your menu. InHarvest offers up a veritable rainbow palette of rices.

  • Red Rice
    • Red Jasmine – imported from regions beyond the Himalayan Mountains.
  • Black Rice
  • Blends and Other Rices 
    • Aztec Blend – Colusari™ Red Rice, amaranth, brown rice and multi-colored split peas 
    • Mountain Red Blend – a mélange of Red Jasmine and Ulikan rices, heirloom white rice, black quinoa and green lentils 
    • Whole Grain 5 Blend  – Colusari™ Red Rice, grano, wild rice, sprouted brown rice and parboiled long-grain brown rice
    • Bamboo Rice from China – a stunning green rice that gets it’s color from green tea extract. 
    • Brown Basmati Rice – A short-grain, aromatic rice from India.