It’s fundamentally tasteless. It’s bland. It’s carbohydrate in one of its most basic forms. And don’t we millennials hate all things basic?
Give me a noodle any day. There are at least two more ingredients in a noodle than in a grain of rice. Maybe I just have a more complex, refined palate. I’ll leave the rice for the rest of your pedestrian plebs.
Sure, rice has fueled generations of my ancestors. Sure, it’s great at soaking up a perfectly engineered Chinese “brown sauce.” Sure, it’s great to throw at people at a wedding. Sure, it’s a choice option when you want to blind bake a pie crust.
But if I’m sitting down to engage in some carbohydrate consumption, it’s not rice I’m reaching for. A slippery noodle, a smattering of crispy roasted potatoes or a perfect slice of bread is what I’m choosing. Dare I say it but could bread be the best carbohydrate choice?
The textural contrast (few carbohydrate choices have at least two distinct textures) between innards and crust. The ability to be a vehicle for both savory (pate, prosciutto, parma ham, pimento cheese), sweet (jam, honey, anonymous chocolate hazelnut spread, hagelslag) and the tenuous bridge between the both (almond butter, cream cheese, unsalted butter) is a quality few carbohydrate sources possess.
But to refocus on my hatred for rice, we should spend a few moments talking about congee. This was the bane of my childhood existence. Sick? Here, have some congee. Nothing to eat? Here, have some congee and these preserved Asian vegetables that may be carcinogenic but who cares!
Dehydrated/tired/bored/have some extra cooked rice/have some leftover drabs? Have some congee!
Fuck congee. It tastes like rice that died a watery death. Who decided that taking the blandest food in existence and stewing it in some water was a good idea?
I don’t even like rice when I’m sick. My housemate has a constant batch of rice in the fridge or in the rice cooker. I was recently struck down by a monstrous version of viral gastroenteritis.
“You’re sick?” she asked. “You should eat some rice!”
Even in my weakened, dehydrated state, I was able to spit out the words, “I don’t like rice…”
It’s too late now. I’m 25 and my taste buds have become cemented in their prejudices. Rice, I’m sorry, my white friend. You’re just not for me.