Table of content A-Z

 

rice

 

Botanical name: Oryza sativa


Reis

 

Origin, areas of cultivation


Rice, also known as "the bread of Asia", originated in East Asia, where it was cultivated and grown as early as 5000 b.c. With their conquest of the "New World", the Portuguese brought rice to Brazil and the Spaniards to other parts of South America.

Rice is one of the most important staple foods today for almost 60% of the world's population. It is grown in practically all tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

Approximately 90% of rice is grown in Asia, while the remaining 10% is limited mainly to the USA, Africa and southern Europe.


Availability


More than 70 000 different varieties of rice exist throughout the world, but only those with the highest yields, such as basmati or Patna, are found on the market. Under optimal growing conditions, rice can be harvested two to three times a year. The main harvest is during the rainy season.


Appearance, taste, characteristics


There are various types of rice kernels that differ in their appearance. For example there is long-grain and round-grain (also known as short-grain or pearl rice). The colour can vary as well. Unhusked rice is usually light brown to brown and can also be reddish. Polished rice, on the other hand, is white, and this is the form known best. The flavour can be neutral, slightly sweet, flowery or even piquant. Some varieties will be mentioned in detail here.

*Arborio rice



Arborio or arvorio rice is grown in Italy and is a round-grain variety. The kernel is short and oval and is used preferentially for risotto.

*Basmati rice



Basmati rice, also known as fragrant rice (basmati means 'fragrance' in Hindi), is a very aromatic long-grain variety that is grown in India and Pakistan. It is a component of many oriental dishes.

*Patna rice

Patna kernels are long, thin and translucent. Patna rice is a sort with high-quality kernels that keep their shape when cooked, or cook dry, not sticky.

*Wild rice



Wild rice is the seed of a water grass that grows in swamps and lakes, and at the edges of rivers and ponds in eastern North America and does not belong botanically to the rices. The dark-brown kernel tastes nutty and can be up to 3 cm long. Wild rice has become more and more popular over the past 20 years. Certain vitamins and minerals are found in large amounts in wild rice - for example vitamin B2.



Although rice is quite adaptable to its surroundings it prefers a moist, warm climate for optimal growth. In India it is grown at high altitudes of 3000 m above sea level.


Ingredients


With increased processing, rice loses more and more of its nutrient content. In general, it contains little protein and, in comparison to other types of grain, it has relatively little iron.

Natural rice (unpolished) above all can contribute to an adequate supply of vitamins B1 and B6, niacin, and biotin, as well as of phosphorus and magnesium.

Rice is free of gluten and therefore safe for persons with coeliac disease.

100 g contain:


 

Rice, unhusked
Rice, husked
Rice, parboiled
Energy (kcal)
350
349
351
Water (g)
13
13
12
Protein (g)
7.2
6.8
6.5
Fat (g)
2.2
<1
0.5
Carbohydrates (g)
74
78
79
Fibre (g)
2.2
1.4
1.4
Vitamin B1 /µg)
410
0.06
0.4
Vitamin B6 (µg)
275
60
400
Niacin (NE) (mg)
6.4
150
400
Pantothenic acid (µg)
170
60
90
Biotin (µg)
12
3
3
Magnesium (mg)
157
64
28
Manganese (mg)
1.1
2
3.-9
Iron (mg)
2.6
0.6
2.9
Phosphorus (mg)
325
120
110



Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation


Rice is not used as animal fodder like other types of grain; it is used exclusively for the human diet.

It is used to produce rice brandy, rice wine, rice starch and rice oil. Different sorts are suited for preparing different dishes. Basmati and jasmine rice go well with oriental dishes. Round-grain rice is best for preparing sweet dishes such as rice pudding and other desserts, because it takes on a sticky consistency when it is cooked. Long-grain rice is popular as a classical side dish and remains al dente when it is cooked.

Natural rice, white rice, parboiled rice and minute rice differ in the way they are processed.

*Natural rice



This is also called brown or whole-grain rice; it is unpolished and still has the rice germ.

*White rice

White rice is polished after the harvest and freed of its outer shell, whereby a large portion of its important nutrients are lost. Only the white starch kernel remains.

*Parboiled rice



Before being husked, parboiled rice is treated with steam and pressure. Vitamins and minerals that are found in the husk are thus pressed into the kernel and are largely preserved. The surface is also hardened by this treatment. The rice doesn't stick together when it is cooked but remains al dente. Raw and cooked, parboiled rice is yellowish.

*Minute rice

Minute rice is also known as quick-cooking rice. It is white rice that is precooked and then dried. This shortens the cooking time to only several minutes. It contains even fewer nutrients than white rice.

 

 

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