Mo Frechette is the founder and one of the food finders of Zingerman's Mail Order. When we asked him about his favorite product, here's what he had to say:
It’s hard for me not to fall for a story, especially when it’s true. This wild rice–not at all like the wild rice you’ll see in most shops–is one of America’s oldest foods. It was definitely on Native Americans’ diets four hundred years ago, which meant it was probably an early settlers' food, too. The plants were part of the Great Plains ecosystem, a thousand mile stretch of grasses whose biodiversity was as great as the Amazon. Today, the rice harvest still happens in ways a person from four centuries ago would have recognized. The grasses are gathered by hand in canoes, threshed by simple machines and parched over open fires.
To cook some I sweat half a sliced onion in a pan, add the rice and warm it, stirring it into the onion and oil, then pour in chicken broth and cook it for half an hour with the lid open till the grains crack and split and fray. The flavor is absolutely stunning. It’s mild but extremely complex, with woody, green and grassy flavors mixed in with nutty, yeasty, earthy notes. Never overpowering, it’s the kind of flavor kids love too.
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