The Fork

The Fork: Very Nice

Rice is nice (and that’s supposed to be a sports pun above)

STOP THE PRESSES! Or the internet button or whatever the object is now that controls the...stuff and the things! It appears we’re headed toward the most intense rice shortage on Earth in 20 years! Rice is also at its highest price in a decade! Rice also tastes good! And is nice! Everybody loves rice! This is terrible!

To give you a look into the thought process that got us here, observe how it went in our head:


-Man, this Ozu place our editor wrote about sounds AWESOME

-We could go for some salmon, no question

-Also rice—rice is nice

-We should write about rice

-We should tell SFR’s digital/online maven Brianna Kirkland that we’re gonna write about rice

-”Hey, Bri, The Fork this week is literally about rice,” we say.

-”Rice is nice,” she responds. “and supposedly gonna rise in price. I heard there is gonna be a shortage in the supply chain.”

-”Jesus, God, NOOOOO!” we think, but instead reply with, “Fuk, that’s awful.” (VERBATIM)

-”It’s my #1 staple food,” she says.

-”Same. We’re always ricing it up!” we say.


So here we are—longing for onigiri and full of last night’s rice (we don’t know why we’re still full of rice a day later—that’s what should really worry you), scared that we might not be able to get ricing as often as we desire. And that brings us to today—A TOTALLY FACTUAL AND IN NO WAY JOKEY LESSON ABOUT RICE!!!!!

The Great Wall of China is held together with sticky rice. True story. Seems workers during the 15th and 16th centuries used that sticky rice in a mixture with calcium carbonate to make a mortar and, in turn, build that wall that, while not actually viewable from space, is pretty darn big all the same. If you don’t believe those things we said, just ask The Smithsonian—it’s new, maybe you’ve heard of it?

We learned during our rice research that more than half of the people on the planet eat rice as part of 20% of their daily intake. Now, given how ubiquitous it’s become for most cultures, that’s not shocking, but that’s still a lot. In fact, something like 50% of the calories consumed by all humans comes from wheat, corn and—get this—rice.

White rice is actually brown rice. Did you know that? Yeah, it’s brown rice, but the folks who sell it polish it up real nice, which makes it taste the way it does (arguably better, even if health nuts are out there all like, “I just prefer brown rice, y’know? Because my palate and my health are both so sophisticated.”) Anyway, we know it sounds fake that rice gets polished, but we’re telling you it’s true. It’s called refining, OK? You trust us, right? We’re nothing without trust!

OK, OK, OK, OK, to be fair, brown rice has more fiber than white rice, so we get it. We’ve been dumping fiber into our water for, like, a year now, so we’re down with it. But know that while it does technically have more fiber, a study from Invictus Fitness (they’re all about fitness) found that it’s not so simple. In fact, the study says, “white rice actually has an equal or better nutritional yield and also has a better nitrogen-retentive effect than brown rice.” Here’s a link.

Do you nerds have any idea how much water it takes to grow rice? It takes sooooooo much. Now, this is a rough number, a real give or take number, but a kilogram of rice requires somewhere in the neighborhood of 5,000 liters of water. Argue your way out of THAT, vegans! Actually, vegans, just leave us alone. Take your Earth-shatteringly terrible farts and go!

While China grows the most rice on the whole dang planet, you might be surprised to learn that Arkansas grows the most here in the US. We’re surprised about that, because our uncle Poach (that’s really his name, and we also had an aunt named Unce, not kidding) lives in Arkansas and never said word one about that. Typical conservative right hiding rice facts from the rest of us. Anyway, China also eats the most rice, we learned, though we’re not shocked because soooooo many people live there. The Fork eats the most rice at The Fork’s house.

The US generates something like $3 billion in rice bucks, at least as of 2022. When you consider how small a grain of rice is, that’s pretty wild.

Speaking of how small a grain of rice is, there’s this whole world of rice writers and engravers out there, and it’s pretty neat! We’re talking jewelry, art...other stuff, probably. Now, we’re not going to get into the complicated stuff about it, but you should check out this link and scroll to the bottom where there’s a photo of a man who looks very nice. We like it. We’re just saying.

We’ve also been learning about the nutritional value of rice, and while it’s a complicated labyrinth of numbers and info about blood sugar and carbs and water weight and whatever else, the broad strokes are about how rice is indeed a carb, which is good or bad or somesuch. Also, there’s not really any fat or sugar in that stuff (the site we’re going to link uses the term “virtually no...” in regards to fat and sugar.

National Rice Pudding Day is just around the corner on Aug. 9, so when we get there you can fascinate people with how just about every part of the world has their own rice pudding thing going on, and how it’s technically healthier than some other nonsense like, we dunno, cake or something.

And lastly, you regular Fork Frenz might recall that we had a hankering for rice pudding last March, so we’re gonna throw in a recipe for all y’all that we technically threw in back then, but that we wanted to remind you about in case you wanted some rice pudding, too. You’re welcome, America!


Riz Au Lait du Patron de La Fourchette

You’ll Need

  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup of that sushi rice (the stuff that gets all glutinous and squishy, y’know?)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • As much cinnamon as you want all up in there

The Steps

  • Combine 5 cups milk, sugar, salt and stir on medium high heat until it’s pretty boil-y
  • Add rice and stir in real good, then bring your heat down to a simmer
  • Stir it every so often until it’s all thick and gooey and smells super good—texture and consistency can be personal, we know, but this particular one errs more toward creamy. This should take around an hour or so, maybe a little less or longer depending on the whims of the gods.
  • Once you have it where you want it, go ahead and turn off the stove and plop your vanilla extract in there—just make sure you stir it in real good while it’s still pretty hot, because, baby, if it cools down, you’re gonna regret how hard a time you’ll have.
  • Once your vanilla is in, let it cool a little bit on the stovetop, but know you’re ultimately gonna put it in your fridge for a bit. It might get pretty thick, but you still have that last cup of milk from before, and you can mix some of that in before you dish it out, just add a little splash at a time to make sure it hits your preferred creaminess level.
  • Dust with all that cinnamon we were talking about.


So, yeah. Rice is nice.

Snack Corner

Y’know what we’ve been snacking on lately? Brown Cow vanilla yogurt. The kind with cream on the top. IS it good for you? Who can say, really? The cherry vanilla is our very favorite, but it’s usually not available at Whole Foods when we go. Speaking of Whole Foods, does anyone else hate those little plastic arms they’ve installed on the yogurts that make it damn near impossible to get the yogurts out? We get that this is a small thing, but life is made up of small things!


-Reminder again that Mother’s Day is right around the corner (Sunday, May 14) and that restaurants are likely to do things about that. Call ahead. Be nice. Tip well. Etc.

-Reminder that Cinco de Mayo (duh) is coming and you should probably Google it before you head out there to do racism like it’s funny or something. We’ve seen some places putting together tequila tasting menus and other specials...just be cool is all we’re saying.

-We hear the Legal Tender Saloon & Eating House in Lamy has indeed shuttered for realsies, and that’s a bit of a drag. Owner Sean Sinclair is a real nice dude from what we’ve heard. In fact, not even a year ago Sinclair was feeding folks impacted by those bonkers wildfires out by Las Vegas.

-So nobody felt like mentioning that the Bar+Kitchen at the Drury Plaza Hotel serves food late (by Santa Fe standards)? We haven’t been yet, but the menu looks awesome. Apparently you can add green chile to whatever for a buck. It’s open til midnight most days; til 11 pm on Sundays.

-We’re here to tell you that the husband of SFR editor Julie Ann Grimm makes amazing cookies, and you’re welcome to try and outdo his choco-chip brilliance by sending any/all cookies to us. This is our weird way of saying we’d like to expand our cookie lexicon—who has the best what, and where are they?

-Lastly, in local news this week, we have met the busser robot at Cafecito over by the Baca Street Railyard, but its existence pales in comparison to the banana and berry crepe we had with dulce de leche and a nice cup of coffee. We visited during an ArtWalk Santa Fe event full of arts and booths, the breeze was just right, the robot didn’t bother us...not a bad day. Go to Cafecito is what we’re saying.



Reader Lauren L. says she didn’t have a great experience the first time she tried Thai on Canyon, but that giving the eatery a second chance last week was a wise choice.

“We got a table immediately and the service was top-notch,” Lauren says. “The drunken noodles with tofu were a generous portion of perfectly-sauced heaven. Thai basil made the whole dish taste delightfully ‘perfumed.’ Yelpers tell me the service and food vary wildly. I fill find out for myself by going back again.

My finicky partner said they were the best noodles he’s ever eaten.”

Dope, Lauren. Way to go!

More Tidbits

-Jet Blue has non-alcoholic beer now, so all you teetotaling nerds can fly in style or whatever. Naw, just kidding, we support non-alcoholic beer for people who want it. In this case, it’s from the Athletic Brewing Company. This also makes Jet Blue the first airline to offer the non-hard stuff.

-Check your flour, friends, as General Mills has announced a voluntary recall of its Gold Medal Flour product over salmonella concerns. If you click this link, you can learn a little more, including how to go about checking whether you need to ditch that bag.

-Everyone seems to be talking about the new veggie burger at Shake Shack. Now, we don’t have one in Santa Fe, so we’ll have to live vicariously, but word on the street is that the burger is popular because it contains real veggies, not lab-created fake cow’s blood or whatever the shit “hume” is. Anyway, there’s a new veggie burger at Shake Shack, everyone! Oh, and Beyond burgers smell like cat food when you cook them.

-”Can apple cider vinegar help with weight loss?” queries a new USA Today piece? We have an answer to that: We don’t know and we don’t care. God, no wonder everyone hates their own guts so much.

-Wendy’s is doing different shake flavors or something for the summer. We guess it’’s...OK, look. We thought we could care about this. We thought to ourselves, “It’s cool, The Fork, just because you don’t go to Wendy’s and are baffled by how they insist upon calling shakes ‘Frosties’ doesn’t mean people don’t like them. There are myriad reasons people patronize fast food establishments, from the economic to the psychological to just plain liking them. Really, The Fork, the true crime here is more your stuck-up thought processes when it comes to fast foods, and if you spent even a fraction of the time you take telling people you don’t eat fast food by trying to tangibly make even the smallest difference to our country’s countless food swamps and deserts, maybe you could do some good.” But then we were like, “It’s enough you said they’re doing something different, now eat another cookie.”

Just saying.

A Totally Scientific Breakdown of The Fork’s Correspondence

In the print edition of SFR this week, learn more about Ozu, Santa Fe’s newest Japanese-focused dining establishment.

Number of Letters Received


*No one cared about Dutch punk, huh?

Most Helpful Tip of the Week (a barely edited letter from a reader)

“I still say you should shut up.”

*And we still say that you should use your real email address as opposed to the obviously fake one you created just to dunk on us, The Fork!

Actually Helpful Tip(s)

Shake your oatmilk heartily.

*That one’s actually from us to you!

Riced-up to the nth degree,

The Fork

Letters to the Editor

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