Have you ever wondered why people have custom to throw rice at weddings? Well, rice (or seeds of the plant oryza sativa) is one of the oldest grain in the world. These little seeds are intertwined in ancient Pagan legends, myths an folklore of many nations, symbolizing fertility, luck and wealth. So, when someone throw few seeds of rice at the bride and groom, he/she symbolically wishes them a prosperous life.
Furthermore, this wonderful plant represents a staple food for many nations in Asia and Latin America. It has been cultivated in many countries throughout the world since ancient times, which resulted in numerous rice subspecies that differ in shape, color and nutritional value. And today, we divide rice into two basic types: processed and unprocessed rice. These two types can have different sizes, so we call them short-grain, long-grain and medium grain rice, of course they all can be brown, red or black, and in the newest age we even can choose between enriched or unenriched kind of rice.
Rice can be cooked, boiled, steamed or fried into delicious meals. We can also use raw rice to make flour. This type of flour doesn’t contain gluten, so it is good choice for the gluten-free diet. Some types of raw rice can be sprouted and used in raw-food diet.
One cup of rice contains approximately 220 calories. Ninety percent of the calories come from carbohydrates. Rest of calories come from fat and protein. Rice is good source of all essential amino-acids. It contains the B vitamins, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, etc.
Types of Rice:
Arborio is a short-grain rice grown in Italy. Its name refers to Arborio town, where this rice were first grown. Arboro is a white variety of rice with high starch content, which gives a creamy content to dishes. It is classic choice for risotto and rice pudding desserts.
Baldo is a medium grain rice grown in Italy. When cooked, it has soft and well-creamed texture due to the high starch content. It can be used for risottos and soups, as well as pilafs.
Basmati is a long-grain rice grown mainly in India and Pakistan. Translated from Hindi language, its name means „full of aroma“ and indeed, with its specific fragrance and sweetness, it is a true delicacy. Basmati rice also do contain less starch than other types of rice, so when cooked, each grain remains separate. It can be found in white and brown variety. Its specific flavor is the perfect accompaniment to Indian curries and pilaf dishes.
Bomba is a high-quality type of short-grain rice from Spain. It has mild flavor and capability to absorb more liquid than any other type of rice. It is recommended for the beginner cooks, since it can not be overcooked. Bomba rice is the common choice for paellas and similar Spanish rice dishes.
Carnaroli is a short-grain type of rice grown in Italy. It contains high level of starch, so when cooked it gives a nice, creamy texture. Carnaroli is considered to be one of the the finest rice varieties, thus the nickname „caviar of rice“. It is often used for making sophisticated, gurment dishes, like rice salads, timbale and risottos.
Domsiah is a long-grain type of rice from Iran. It is highly aromatic and most delicately flavored known rice. It is commonly used for pilafs and chelo – an Iranian version of steamed rice dish.
Jasmine is a long-grain aromatic rice grown in Thailand. It has a subtle, nutty flavor. It can be found in both brown and white varietes. White variety is less sticky than other types of white rice. Jasmine rice is mostly used for making Thai and Chinese rice dishes.
Koshihikari (or Koshi) is a short-grain type of rice from Japan. It has a slightly sweet flavor and soft texture. Its best feature is low glycaemic index in comparison to other types of rice. It is commonly used for making sushi, but can also be used for other creamy rice dishes.
Patna is a long-grain type of rice cultivated mainly near the the city of Patna, India. It has mildly flavoured aroma and ability to be used in many rice recipes.
Rosematta (or matta) is a long-grain type of rice from India. It has a specific reddish color and earthy, nutty aroma. It is commonly used for making sweet rice dishes, like apamas (rice pancakes), idli cakes, etc.
Samba is a small-grain aromatic rice grown in India and Sri Lanka. It has unique herbaceous, or corny flavor. When cooked, it is more dense than other rice types, but with separated grains. It is traditionally used for making biryani dishes.
Wehani is a long-grain brown type of aromatic rice from California. It has specific red color, nutty aroma and when cooked the grains separates. It is usually used in salads, fired rice dishes etc.