Wild rice grows naturally in Minnesota and other north central locations. It is high in protein, fiber, the amino acid lysine, and low in fat. It grows in wetlands and traditionally harvested by the Native Americans using canoes and long sticks called knockers. They canoe through the long grass, pulling it into the canoe and knocking the grains into the bottom. It is a long and tedious process. Then, they prepare it, use it, or sell it. Some farmers have created a plant that can grow on firmer ground with less fragile seeds and harvest them with machinery. There is a difference between the wild rice you buy from the natives to what you will find on the store shelves.
Here’s a video of Wild Rice Harvest on the White Earth Reservation.
We have many delicious ways to use wild rice: soup, salad, hotdish, wild rice burgers and sausage, and bread. It gives an earthy flavor and texture to the dish. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to wild game, fish, especially Minnesota Walleye! MMM. I wish I had a bowl of the Biker Chef’s wild rice soup right now.