Exploring The Grainy Varieties Of Rice

Rice is as ubiquitous as food comes. According to the University of California, Davis, its history stretches back to 2500 B.C. Rice first found popularity in China, but has since traveled throughout the world and landed in many local cuisines.

History of rice
From China rice was then cultivated in Sri Lanka and India. Afterwards, it traveled to Greece and other places across the Mediterranean. It also found a home in southern Europe and the northern region of Africa. Europeans introduced rice to North America, while Spain brought it to Central and South America, according to the source.

As you probably are aware, all rice isn’t the same. It comes in a variety of shapes, colors, textures and flavors. These differences make up the various specialties found in each region. To understand how to properly cook rice, take an online culinary arts program. Here is a brief overview of a few popular types:

This variety is widely used and gets its color and texture from having its hull, bran and germ removed. While you can find it in short and medium grain, the long variety is most popular.

Some retailers sell instant rice, which is advertised with a decreased cooking time. To keep some nutrients this rice is partially cooked beforehand. Also, you may see enriched rice on supermarket shelves. This product has vitamins added to make up for those lost during the refining process.

In contrast from the white variety, brown rice has the hull and bran of the grain intact. This means there are more nutrients kept inside, which is why it’s often consumed as part of a healthy diet. However, brown rice takes much longer to cook than its counterpart.

This variety is the only one native to North America. It is often mixed with white rice to offer multiple textures. Even when cooked, these grains have a noticeable bite to them, which is a nice feature in soups, pilafs and stuffings.

Slender basmati rice has a sought-after fragrance and taste. It is often used in Indian cuisine as a foundation of spicy curry dishes.

This variety is an aromatic rice. It has a chewy consistency and nutty flavor. It’s not as popular as the previous types, so look for it in a specialty market.

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