“It’s virtually impossible to grasp … the challenges these people surmount to get a rice crop planted, harvested, and brought to market,” says Stacey Toews, Co-Founder & Communications Catalyst at Level Ground Trading, one of Ten Thousand Villages’ long-term partners.
UNESCO declared the Philippine Rice Terraces a World Heritage Site in 1995 within the “living cultural landscape” category. People of the Ifugao ethnic group have occupied and grown rice on these terraces for more than 2,000 years.
Level Ground has partnered with 270 farmers in 13 communities to bring us three unique varieties of tasty heirloom rice, all with deep genetic heritage. The producer group, Rice Inc., is currently the only exporter of rice from the Philippines, and Level Ground was the recipient of the only container of rice that left the Philippines in 2014!
Rice Inc. is a cooperative of indigenous farmers who plant and harvest by hand, 78% of whom are women who have never had an opportunity to earn an income before. The rice is grown without any chemicals or heavy metals like arsenic, and the three varieties Level Ground imports are non-hybridized and gluten-free.
Ten Thousand Villages is pleased to offer all three of these delicious and stunning varieties:
- The Violet variety is a sticky purple rice that’s among the most highly prized in the remote terraces of northern Luzon, Philippines because of its cultural and culinary importance.
- Ulikan Red is a Long-Grain variety that is thicker and somewhat stickier than conventional long-grain rice. It has an “earthy” aroma while cooking and a mild taste when eaten.
- Kalinga Unoy is an Aromatic rice with a rare delectable taste. It is always served during festivals and ceremonies, and has been known to entice the entire village with its aroma while being cooked.
“Today, I hiked to the top of the world, and my appreciation for the rice of the Kalingas is boundless,” says Toews.
“Today blew me away.”
|Crackle Rice Bowl||Violet Level Ground Rice|