This highly sought after rice comes to us from our good friend Shawn Askinosie in Springfield, Missouri.
Shawn is actually one of the premier bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the US, so what’s he doing with rice? Shawn travels the world to source his cacao beans. He buys directly from the farmers he meets and (incredibly) shares the profits with them. Many of these farmers and their communities have never actually seen a finished bar of chocolate, so when he returns to their tiny village with profits to share and chocolate to enjoy it’s sort of a big deal.
Shawn sources some of the cacao he uses from Tanzania and that’s when he discovered this rice. It’s harvested in the Kyela region by the PTA of the Mwaya Secondary School and 100% of the profits go back to the school. Each 1-kilo bag of rice funds 220 meals. Shawn has agreed to keep buying their rice, 1000 kgs at a time, for the next two years so the community and the school can actually rely on the money and more importantly, the meals. Most of the more than 1000 students usually only eat one meal a day. Now they get another meal while they're at school. In other words, the sale of this rice is really making a difference in the lives of the students, teachers and parents at the Mwaya Secondary School.
Best of all, the rice is fantastic. It’s a medium grain white rice that’s hand harvested and dried in the sun. It cooks up easily in a rice cooker or stove top. I’ve been using it in recipes that call for jasmine rice and it’s been divine. Each bite is nutty with a nice chew and hints of sun-toasting. It's delicious and it makes a difference in peoples’ lives. It’s not every day you find a food that can do all that.