Rice & Milk: The Ultimate Mountain Comfort Food

White rice and mlk with nuts and raisins.  Photo courtesy of Biswarup Ganguly
White rice and mlk with nuts and raisins. Photo courtesy of Biswarup Ganguly

When one thinks of cultures that rely heavily on rice, the mountaineers of Appalachia typically aren’t the first people to come to mind.

Like so many other cultures around the world, however, that have struggled to make end’s meat, the hillfolk from “back home” have perfected numerous rice recipes, including one that serves as one of the all time greats in mountain comfort food: White Rice & Milk.

Whether served on a chilly winter’s evening or at breakfast time, a countless number of Appalachian children have tasted the heavenly delight that accompanies that first bite from a hot bowl of white rice, a smidge of butter and a splash of cold cow milk — the more fortunate children were treated to the added sweetness of a few sprinkles of sugar.

Like so many other things concerning Appalachia, this nearly forgotten mountain treat goes by several different names around the region and is called everything from “rice pudding” to “breakfast rice”.

In addition to enjoying varying local titles, there are a countless number of recipes concerning “breakfast rice” and include adding raisins and nuts, as well as cinnamon and brown sugar.

If you grew up enjoying white rice and milk, take pride in knowing that you probably grew up tough as nails and were made the better for it.  If you still enjoy white rice and milk, keep the tradition alive, keep enjoying the heavenly goodness of this mountain treat.

Do you like Appalachian History? Then you would love Appalachian Magazine’s Mountain Voice: A Collection of Memories, Histories, and Tall Tales of Appalachia!  Click here to check out the book on Amazon!

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