Aromatic rice is any aromatic variety of rice with a definite aroma, flavour, and taste. It’s also called scented rice.
Aromatic varieties are primarily medium to long grain varieties of rice, whose grains elongate much more than they plump during cooking. (at least 3 to 5 times longer than wide). They have variable aromas and flavours, sometimes, with a toasty nutty fragrance.
The well known cultivars or fragrant rice are: Jasmine, Basmati, Patna, Vietnamese fragrant rice, and a hybrid cultivar from America, sold under the trade name Texmati. Both Basmati and Texmati have a mild popcorn-like or roasted nut aroma and flavour.
Below is the famous, fragrant Basmati Rice
What gives aromatic rice it’s taste and aroma?
The aroma and flavour of fragrant rice is due to the presence of a chemical compound 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline with the chemical formula C6H9NO (Punchem ncbi). It is present in varying degrees in all fragrant rice, so the intensity of the aroma will vary depending on the level of Acety-1-pyrroline in each variety.
2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline is also responsible for the ‘popcorn’ aroma in a large variety of cereal and food products and for the cracker-like odour of a freshly baked crust of bread, which is generated during baking. (Punchem ncbi). Of course you do remember the pleasant aroma of freshly baked bread…the reason why I bake my own bread!!!
2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline is also responsible for the aroma in the spice, pandan (Pandanus amaryllifolius), and the flowers of the shrub called bread flower (Vallaris glabra), whose white flowers are highly scented with a pandan or burnt-rice-like fragrance. (Vallaris Glabra)
Where to Buy Aromatic Rice
Aromatic (scented) rice, can be found in most grocery stores, bulk barn stores, or speciality stores.