Last week we had a very brief post, singing the praises of Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice.
We made the classic separate-grain recipe (aka “Charleston Ice Cream“) and it was so good that no adjectives were necessary. Even the most hyperbolic of adjectives seemed to fall short. Epic. Game-changing. BEST EVER. None of them worked.
Anyway, in some aspects, the Charleston Ice Cream reminded us of risotto, so Tina was curious if the recipe would hold up if we swapped out the Carolina Gold with with Italian arborio rice.
Tina followed the Anson Mills recipe, by first boiling it with a bay leaf, salt, and pepper, then baking it (with PLENTY of butter). The grains are a bit larger, so she baked the arborio for an extra five minutes.
The verdict: The arborio rice was far better than most traditional rices you would find at a grocery store (apologies, Uncle Ben); however, the flavor and texture of the Carolina Gold was clearly superior. Clearly this wasn’t a fair fight, but with the amount of butter in the recipe, the arborio rice works fine and for all intents and purposes is an acceptable substitution. Especially if you don’t want to spend $7 for 14 oz.
But if you’re in search of flavor perfection and you don’t mind paying the extra cash, stick with the Carolina Gold.