The Rare Red Rice | Is This The Balatinaw Variety

A red rice. Wow! I got few grains for a quick taste test. I bit them soundly and seemed good to senses. The retail price is 42 pesos per kilogram. I bought one kilogram for further testing. Rice taste quality can be tested quickly by eating few grains but some people could not notice the difference between rice varieties.

red rice

I asked her where can I find red rice plantations. She said some farmers of Pangasinan and Mindoro are growing it. The variety is not popular cause taking care is hard and not a high yielding variety. Mountain Province has red rice too.The place is popular for “balatinaw” red rice. GMA7 Jessica Soho featured tapuy and lepeg making. The town folks are using the balatinaw as raw material. My friend from Mindoro added that original tapuy wines are made of balatinaw. The current popular tapuy came from a certain variety of glutenous rice.

Short summary of comments from yahoo news. The variety is grown in Cordillera region only once a year. It is very nutritious and more nutritious than any kind of rice. Well known in Ilocos before. Unpolished rice will result to a deep violet-red color when cooked.

I am thinking if the red rice on my hand is balatinaw. I can try making original tapuy and lepeg if it is. One kilogram is not enough so I gonna buy more. I consulted mr. web but only got one uncertain information. The balatinaw could be Oryza sativa subsp. javanica var.”balatinaw”. I looked at IRRI rice database. I found several red rice varieties but nothing points to balatinaw.

—– update ——

We tried cooking the red rice. It has a fragrant aroma but the taste failed to my expectation. Chewing and shallowing was a little hard. It seemed the size of cooked grains were increasing with every chew.

cooked red rice


Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.

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