Two Brooks Farm, a single estate rice farm located the Mississippi Delta has recently released Sable Black Rice, an exotic new addition to its line of rice.

Grown by an 11th generation farm family in Sumner, Mississippi, Sable Black Rice continues the Two Brooks Farm tradition of excellence. This new offering has an earthy flavor and inky black appearance. Known as “forbidden rice” and once the exclusive rice of Chinese Emperors, this ancient grain is now available straight from this Southern family farm.

All About (Black) Rice

In the public mind, rice is almost inseparable from its white appearance. This ancient grain is most often associated with a steaming bowl of fluffy white goodness or with the slight crunch of sushi rice wrapped in emerald green nori. Rice has been cultivated for thousands of years and is believed to have originated from a single crop in China. From this original crop, two main species, Asian and African, evolved and spawned hundreds of cultivars which vary in length of grain, stickiness level and color. Most people are familiar with brown rice and its nutty flavor and caramel color. The difference between white rice and brown rice is created by processing, rather than variety. However, some rice cultivars are truly different in color and appearance including pink and red rice which exists in varying shades of scarlet. There is great variety among rice crops, and those who choose not to stray beyond the traditional white rice found at the local market are missing a great range of flavor, texture and color.

Smoked Chicken & Black Rice Salad

Of all the cultivated rice varieties, the most unusual and exotic is black rice. Its rich, dark color sometimes appearing inky purple, is an anomaly. Scientists have determined that the rice’s dark appearance is due to an extraordinarily high level of anthocyanin, the same flavonoid also found in blueberries, eggplant and other purple-hued produce. This flavonoid is an extremely powerful antioxidant. For this reason, black rice is extraordinarily healthful.

“Scientists have determined that the rice’s dark appearance is due to an extraordinarily high level of anthocyanin, the same flavonoid also found in blueberries, eggplant and other purple-hued produce.”

Black rice has been revered in China for thousands of years as an agent of healing and good health. However, this rice is much more difficult to grow than other varieties. The relative scarcity of black rice, coupled with its reputation for good health resulted in black rice becoming a highly prized commodity in ancient China. Often named “forbidden rice” or “emperor’s rice,” black rice was only available to the wealthiest members of society.

Seafood Paella with Sable Rice made by Mike Wagner at our recent Eat Y’all Chef Camp in March

Introducing Sable: a Black Rice From Two Brooks Farm

Thanks to modern, sustainable farming methods, the sacred black rice is no longer a staple available only to royalty. One of the only farms producing black rice in the United States is located in the rich, fertile lowlands of the Mississippi Delta. Two Brooks Farm in Sumner, Mississippi produces an array of single estate rice grown, processed and packaged exclusively on the family farm. Owned by Mike Wagner, and managed by his children Lawrence Wagner and Abby Wagner, Two Brooks Farm is the result of eleven generations of farming. The Wagner family has farmed American soil for more than 270 consecutive growing seasons since colonial days, and they’re proud to continue the tradition of providing sustainable and ecologically sound produce.

Two Brooks Farm produces its black rice variety under the brand name “Sable.” This variety has found a popular following among chefs and consumers alike across the country since its release late last year. Sable black rice has a rich, earthy flavor and a crisp, clean texture not unlike traditional white rice. The cooking process creates a beautiful purple broth and the black rice retains its onyx color throughout the cooking process. The end result is a bouquet of unique Delta flavor and striking appearance on a dish. This is truly a rice fit to serve at a royal court.

Two Brooks Farm Sable black rice is available in foodservice and two pound bags from gourmet distributors and specialty grocers. For more information, inquire at their website or contact us.