Rice is a staple food the world over, and enriched rice — rice that has had nutrients from the whole grain added back during the refining process — is available in almost every market. Not all enriched rice is the same, however. The best enriched rice is long grain rice, sold in bulk, has firm and intact grains with no sticking or sour aromas, and comes from a store that sells a lot of rice. By keeping this in mind, you can ensure you're getting your money's worth.
There is an endless variety of enriched rice available in the average supermarket. Grain sizes include short, medium and long, not to mention jasmine rice and other specialty rices. Unless you primary cook Asian-style foods requiring sticky short-grain rice, plain long grain white rice is probably the best choice for you. Long grain rice is the most versatile form of rice. It is easy to cook, works well with many seasonings, and is suitable for a wide variety of applications.
Another thing to consider when shopping for enriched rice is the packaging it comes in. There isn't much difference between boxed enriched rice and bulk enriched rice. The difference is in the price. As a general rule, because you don't have to pay for cardboard boxes or other packaging, bulk rice tends to be less expensive. Check the label on the bin to ensure the rice you're buying is in fact enriched.
You can also identify the best rice by the appearance of the grains themselves. Good-quality rice should consist of firm, intact grains with very few broken pieces. Grains should not stick together or clump, which is a sign that moisture or other contaminants have gotten into the rice. If you're buying in bulk, you can also judge quality by the scent of the rice. It should smell lightly of grain, with no sour or off smells.
Lastly, the best enriched rice comes from a busy store with high turnover. A supermarket that sells a lot of rice, especially the lower-cost bulk rice, will offer a fresher product than a store that only sells a little rice. Asian markets tend to go through a lot of rice, but you can also find fresh rice at any store with a large customer base. If you're not sure, ask the staff how much rice they go through in a week. Fifty to a hundred pounds is a good answer.