Rice is an integral ingredient with a long history that occupies a special place in the memory of Indian cuisine. Long before the advent of naan and chapati, rice emerged as a culinary delight, capturing the admiration of royalty and commoners alike. Most people around the world prefer eating rice in three meals a day.
Over time, some countries and cities left rice behind and adopted new culinary dishes as their staple. But even then, most parts of the world never abandoned it! Ultimately, rice became one of the most widely consumed grains, after wheat, which has its origins in both Asia as well as Africa.
As of today, it is quite difficult for you to look out for a culture that hasn’t added rice to its usual meal plans. May it be national or regional cuisine, a lot of recipes consist of rice as a priority. Rice has impacted various parts of the world to become a staple in their diet. So, let’s try to see this world through the grain of rice!
People love rice for its adaptability and humility. If you have ever eaten rice, you know that you can consume it with almost any flavoured dish. It is like a helping mate for the entire culinary world. Not only that, but rice also has an unmatched malleability. It means that once cooked, rice can be pureed, pounded, roasted, fried, toasted, baked or dried.
People believe that there are more than a dozen burned rice variants across diverse cultures. But, cooking burned rice needs great skill from the cook. The idea behind it is the cook would let the rice turn brown till the moment when it is almost burned. Thus, the native nuttiness of the grain is increased, and the rice gets cooked to a point which is just one step behind inedibility.
As of today, a lot of dishes made around rice satisfy a lot of cultures. Rice history states that it was once a scarce food, which is now a popular staple for the world. Rice tastes just like home, irrespective of the country or city you are in. It tastes good and is loved by people from all around the world. Hence, it is said you can see the world through rice grain.
A place named Oaxaca, a city in Mexico considers rice as the 500-year-old interloper. Rice was introduced in this region as a result of colonisation or conquest, which failed to diminish the historical gift of culinary resourcefulness or interpretation.
In Senegal, a country in West Africa, people considered rice as a colonization symbol but made efforts in order to be self-sufficient in producing rice by introducing their own native varieties. Thus, the country soon reduced its overall dependency on imports of rice. Similarly, a lot of other countries and cities have now accepted rice as their important food ingredient.
The global cultivation process for rice is also a complex process, as it takes more than 200 days for the crops to mature fully, after which manual hand-harvesting is required for moving them out from the paddy fields and leaving them to dry out. The seeds will then be threshed, followed by milling, where the outer husk will be removed till the time it becomes rice.
The milling process decides the whiteness of the rice, and the grains experience some loss of nutrients at this stage. Whether you have plans on bringing basmati rice recipe to life or going with a simple meal using white rice, it is important for you to understand the difficulties that farmers go through for the bunch of rice that you have on your plate today!
Rice is a popular food item for billions of people around the world, and this grain isn’t accountable as just any other plate filler. Instead, it is referred to as the livelihood of one-fifth of the global population, who are relying solely on rice cultivation as their source of income.
With the increase in the population, every year, there will be more mouths to feed, and the production must be enough to meet the demand. Rice might be a complex source of carbohydrates, but it is considered the primary energy source for more than 50% of the global population.
Depending on the type of rice you prefer to consume, it might consist of subtle amounts of protein, iron, vitamin B, manganese and fibre, which are important nutrients to fight malnutrition. Even in some cultures around the world, rice is thrown by the bride at weddings, whereas in some, a rice goddess, Dewi Sri, is worshipped.
Not just for eating, but rice plants are popular for being used as cooking fuel or for feeding livestock. The rice husks can undergo recycling to be used as bedding or fuel and can be added to building materials or converted into paper.
Beyond being used as food or fuel, rice is also a traditional medicine which has evidence of healing gastric or skin conditions. It can also be boiled down for being used as an eye lotion or hair-shining product!
So, this is a clear understanding of how the consumption and usage of rice have been extended to different parts of the world and how its history has been part of people’s lives for a long time. Just like everyone, if you are fond of rice in your meals, these are a few of the facts that you must be aware of on priority!
Category: Ricing Since Centuries