Patrick WinnJanuary 24, 2011 05:24Updated January 24, 2011 11:11
BANGKOK, Thailand — In rice-reverent Thailand, the “fragrant jasmine” species is considered the champagne of grains. Prepared correctly, it fluffs exquisitely, clings to the fork and smells faintly of flowers.
Like champagne, it is deigned that only a select region — about five sun-baked provinces in Thailand’s northeast — can grow the best jasmine rice crops. Much of it ends up on ships bound for the United States, which imports more rice from Thailand than any other country.