RICE: The staple of the Sephardic Passover diet is Rice. The #1 question before Pesah is which rice is good?
It has been our custom throughout the generations to check all rice three times before Pesah. Due to crop rotation and shared equipment, this is relevant until today, although equipment to remove any non-rice pieces has improved cleanliness. Please be advised that I remember personally when wheat grains were found in rice, so check carefully.
Secondly, many brands of rice are enriched. The enrichment is comprised of vitamins that can be derived from hamets sources. Although it has been clarified that enriched rice is Halachically acceptable, as the amount of possibility of hamets-derived sources is very minute, if one can choose to avoid the question without much expense, then of course, for Pesah, every effort is worth it.
All unenriched, raw, white rice is approved. These include long grain, short grain, Basmati, and Jasmine. Please note: Some companies repack, so check on the package if it states allergen info as packed in a wheat facility, then it is not approved. Rice packaged overseas does not come with enrichment as it is unique to America, where they require enrichment for processed rice that is stripped from its vitamins.
● Unenriched, raw, white rice is approved - long-grain and short-grain.
● Most Jasmine and Basmati Rice is unenriched and approved unless otherwise stated on package as enriched.
● BYL (Rabbi Moshe Cohen) and Star-S have a special run of unenriched Carolina rice certified for Passover. Note: The rice yet requires checking.
● Brown rice – Has no enrichment. One must take more care when checking for wheat kernels as it is more difficult due to the similarity in color. Additionally, one must be vigilant for infestation, as it is more common in brown rice.
● Pure wild rice: which looks like short black sticks, is from the grass family, not a legume at all, and is approved without Passover certification; however, NOT wild rice mixes.