I recently visited Puerto Rico and was blown away by how consistently good the rice was at restaurants. It appeared to be a medium grain rice very similar in consistency and texture to East Asian rices that have a certain degree of stickiness while maintaining its shape and grain integrity. Later, I was very surprised to learn that Puerto Rico imports nearly all of its rice, but that gave me hope that I might be able to find the same variety back home. I visited a supermarket while there, however, all of the rice I found was labeled "Long Grain" (despite appearing to be medium or even short grain).

What variety of rice is typically used in Puerto Rican cuisine?

Wikipedia suggests that longer grain rice is often used in the Puerto Rican diaspora; I am specifically interested in the type of rice used today in Puerto Rico, and what typical varieties I can use to mimic it.

  • Why are you so sure that the "long grain" rice wasn't? Different varieties of rice have different grain lengths, true... so even standard "long grain" rice looks short compared to basmati, for example.
    – Catija
    May 24, 2017 at 15:29
  • I'm not sure. The grains in the rice labeled "long grain" at the supermarket looked very similar to arborio. Also, the rice served at restaurants behaved in all ways similar to medium or short grain rice (with much more amylopectin than a rice like basmati or jasmine).
    – ESultanik
    May 24, 2017 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


Pan Am imports Company. Imports 80% of the rice into Puerto Rico. Majority comes from California. I have had California rice in the Philippines. Also called American rice here. Sold here also. A lighter fluffy rice with mid starch. Does this sound like it? Long grain rice. Used here for special traditional Spanish dish's. Also imports some rice from China to Puerto Rico. It is a different rice than your Midwest rices I have had that also. On the guessing side. California rice. Most from there is exported. Not sold in much of America.

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