On our recent trip to Santa Cruz, we made an incredible discovery: Bamboo Rice. Color me flummoxed!
No, Condoleezza’s brother isn’t hiding out somewhere in a hippy commune in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It’s the edible stuff. So what the heck is it, I wondered. A special kind of rice, or a special kind of bamboo? I mean, sure, bamboo is a member of the monocotyledonous grass family, Poaceae, just like rice. So some varieties must surely produce an edible grain, right?
Well, maybe there are some tasty bamboo grains out there, and maybe not. But that will have to be the subject of some future episode of this spellbinding blog. It turns out this was some kind of rice that’s been infused with bamboo essence, enhancing the grain with a uniquely nutty flavor and earthly aroma. So we grabbed a bag from the bulk section of the New Leaf grocery store on Hwy 1, a few minutes north of downtown Santa Cruz, and rushed home with it.
To unlock the full potential of this exotic rice, I prepared an unusual recipe of spinach praram with tofu, smothered with thai peanut sauce. For the sake of culinary experimentation, I substituted homegrown chard for spinach, TVP chunks for tofu, homegrown parsley for cilantro, and half of the peanut butter was substituted with TJ’s sun butter (made from organic sunflower seeds). Our own garden also provided the crushed red cayenne peppers. The results were delicious. (Feel free to email me for a complete recipe.)
* Bamboo rice is produced and distributed by Purcell Mountain Farms in Moyie Springs, Idaho.