What is wild rice and is it gluten free?
Wild rice is the grain of an aquatic grass native to North America, according to the USA Rice Federation. It grows naturally in water two to four feet deep along the margins of ponds or lakes in the Northern United States and Southern Canada. Much of it is grown in Minnesota, which adopted wild rice as its official state grain. It is also grown commercially in flooded fields, called paddies, mainly in California. Wild rice is dark, nutritious and naturally gluten free. It is often combined with white rice to create the popular long grain and wild rice mix. Unfortunately, ingredients that contain gluten are often added to these mixes. Hydrolyzed wheat protein and soy sauce made from wheat are commonly used to flavor wild rice mixes. But you can find some brands that are gluten free. Zatarain’s New Orleans style Long Grain and Wild Rice contains soy sauce that is made from 100 percent soy beans. The mix does not contain wheat in any other ingredient. Near East brand Original Long Grain and Wild Rice does not contain any soy sauce or wheat. Read the label on private store brands to see if they are gluten free. The Giant store- brand Long Grain and Wild Rice sold at my local grocery is also gluten free.