Facts About Rice

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Rice is the most commonly used staple food around the world. Especially most of the countries in Asia and Africa consume rice as basic food. It may not be the main ingredient in the daily menu of other countries but it is one of the few food grains which is used in almost every part of the world in various forms.

Fact 1: There are 4 major varieties of rice based on how and when it is extracted from paddy. If the rice is extracted from raw paddy by removing the outer hull and polishing it, then it’s white rice. If the paddy is steamed before the extraction of the rice and polished, then the rice is considered slightly healthier than the white rice and is called steamed rice. If the paddy is boiled and then the rice is extracted without polishing it, it is even healthier and is called boiled rice.  And the healthiest version is the brown rice which is whole grain rice, where the endosperm is retained. Now you might think, why have any other rice when brown rice is much healthier than the others? Answer is, as healthier the rice longer the cooking time and time taken to digest it as well. This is why some of the rice eaters prefer white rice or any other variety whichever is convenient for them.

Fact 2: Rice is consumed as the staple food in some of the parts of India where the rice is referred as alternative word for food, just like bread is referred as an alternative word for food in European countries.

Fact 3: What is the origin of the word ‘Rice’ is still uncertain. Some say it is derived from old French word ‘Ris’ or Latin ‘Oriza’ or Greek ‘Oruza’. But some argue that how can an Asian originated grain have a name influenced from a language in some other part of the world. All those support this side of the argument say it is originated from Tamil a South Indian language from the word ‘Arisi’. Whatever the origin of the word is, the food grain is now consumed in almost every part of the word.

Fact 4: It may seem as if Wheat is the most basic food consumed in most of the places. But rice is the food providing 20% of the world’s dietary energy supply and it beats Wheat with 1% since Wheat comprises only 19% of the dietary energy.

Fact 5: 87% of the World’s rice is produced in Asia. In many parts of the continent people have rice for breakfast, lunch and dinner in various forms. In countries like India, Thailand, China etc plain rice is cooked just with water and is had as a main course with various side dishes.

Fact 6: Rice is prominent part of many religious traditions. Rice is sprinkled on bride and the groom by relatives and well wisher as a symbol of showering prosperity to newlyweds. Rice Wine ‘Topuy’ is a prominent part of all the traditional ceremonies in Philippines.

Fact 7: The Indian Basmati rice is much in demand for its aroma and non sticky texture. It has a distinct popped grain flavour which is not usually found in any other variety. It is hence known to be the most superior of the rice varieties in India.

Fact 8:  Jasmine rice of Thailand is one more variety which is most popular and is exported in large quantities. Like the name says jasmine rice is long grain white rice which looks like jasmine flower when cooked. This rice is also an aromatic variety often compared to Basmati rice of India.

Fact 9: Black, brown varieties of rice are known to be the healthiest varieties. It has maximum number of nutrients in them and is slow digested which makes one feel fuller for longer period and hence letting them consume lesser quantity of rice.

Fact 10: Rice porridge is often had as food for the sick people since it is easily digested and is full of nutrients.

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