- Grown by: David Kirkham and Donald Wilcox in Anahuac, TX
Carolina Gold Rice, a long grain rice, was the basis of the colonial and antebellum economy of Carolina and Georgia. Considered the grandfather of long grain rice in the Americas, Carolina Gold (which emanated from Africa and Indonesia) became a commercial staple grain in the coastal lands of Charles Towne in the Carolina Territory in 1685.
Possessing superior flavor, aroma, texture and cooking qualities (and a beautiful golden hue in the fields), Carolina Gold rice brought fortunes to those who produced it and created an influential culture and cuisine in the city of Charleston. By the late 18th century, the wealth associated with its export success and the culture of diverse ethnicity required to produce Carolina Gold Rice defined the Carolina Rice Kitchen, North America’s first complete and distinct regional creole cuisine.
After the Depression Carolina Gold rice lost its prominence to new varieties and became virtually extinct. But in the mid 1980s, Dr. Richard Schulz, an eye surgeon and plantation owner from Savannah, collected stores of Carolina Gold from a USDA seed bank and repatriated the rice to its former home along coastal wetlands around Charleston. By 1986 he produced enough rice to sell.
Our friend Glen Roberts at Anson Mills began growing Carolina Gold rice sustainably in 1998, and today there are organic Carolina Gold rice fields in Georgia, North and South Carolina and Texas.
Carolina Gold Rice is a truly unique rice in its uncommon starch character and its versatility of flavor and application in the many foods of the Carolina Rice Kitchen. Although it is a classic long grain rice, it can emulate medium grain or short grain rice in Carolina Rice Kitchen cookery due to its very diverse genetics. Carolina Gold Rice was cross bred with medium grain rice shortly after 1800 to produce what was then called Northern or Fat Carolina Gold rice. Today, the pure heirloom Carolina Gold Rice stored in the USDA seed bank at Aberdeen, ID and at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines is this same Northern Carolina Gold Rice. ~ from Slow Food USA
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