As you may know, wild rice is not actually a type of rice at all, but is instead a cereal grain. It is a tall, aquatic plant of the grass family, a genus that is completely separate from that of rice. This annual grass grows in shallow water (up to 4 feet) in slow streams and rivers and even along the shores of certain lakes. It is the seeds of this plant that we call wild rice.
Favourable conditions and the number of choice spots in southern Canada stretching from Manitoba to central Quebec allowed it to grow naturally in abundance every year. Wild rice is also referred to as Canada rice, Indian rice and water oats. It is known around the world today but is rarely found outside of Canada and the United States. It is considered a highly nutritional grain and is recognized by its chewy texture and nutty flavour.
The food's value is equal to that of cultivated cereals. Today, many Canadians want to increase Canada's production for human benefit as a nutritious food source but also to supply food to waterfowl for increased game hunting.