Parchers know the rice is properly dried when they pinch a kernel between their fingers and the kernel breaks. After parching, the rice kernel is further loosened from the hull by strenuous foot thrashing, also known as "jigging." The common method of jigging is to dig a small pit in the earth, line it with wood slats or a blanket, place a closed bag of rice into the pit, and start treading.
It is also native to ecologically similar regions located on the continent of Asia.Some kernels fall into the water to re-seed the rice bed.Past generations would process the "green" rice at the landing using traditional methods.With the introduction of the cast-iron kettle during the fur trade era, parching became the preferred drying method.The rice is roasted in a cast-iron kettle over a fire and stirred with a cedar paddle.The grains are long, slender and black, with a distinctive earthy, nutty flavor.
It is available in three different grades, giant, which is a very long grain and the best quality, fancy, which is a medium grain and of lesser quality and select, which is a short grain.
There are thousands of different varieties, each kind growing in its own particular place of depth, temperature, mud, water quality.
Wild rice is very sensitive to the environmental conditions of its niche.
Today, the rice is put into large bags upon returning to the landing and taken to rice processing facilities.
Historically, rice was dried by spreading it out on birch bark or blankets on the ground and continuously raking it to allow the air and sun to dry it. Another method used was to spread the rice out on drying racks constructed from green branches and grass and then by placing the racks over the fire.
The final step in processing wild rice is "winnowing," or tossing the rice in the air.