<I>I posted this in the Louisville Restaurants Forum
but then thought it would be interesting to put it up here too and see what other answers I get.</i>
Just noticed this today at a restaurant that need not be named since I'm not really picking on them: Why do so many restaurants, including some very fine restaurants, use "converted" (Uncle Ben's-style) rice?
I've been Googling around, and there's some indication that it may be marginally more nutritious (because it's steamed in the husk, forcing some vitamins and nutrients into the grain before the husk is removed), and some theory that it makes a less sticky rice with each grain smooth and separate (only an advantage if you're not making Asian cuisine or risotto). I would think it costs more, though, and to my taste, it's not quite as good. When I get it in a restaurant, it's easy to tell it from natural rice, and I generally don't like it quite as well. It seems bland, and it leaves me a feeling that the kitchen is cutting corners.
Comments, restaurant industry folks? Is there a good reason to use converted rice? How does it compare to natural in terms of cost, time and ease of cooking?