Organization of Rice Exporting Countries
Source : INRA
Rice is a grass "autogame", a tall crop, that is grown more easily in the tropics. Originally rice was probably cultivated without submersion, but it is believed that mutations led it to become a semi aquatic plant. Although it can grow in diverse environments, it grows faster and more vigorously in wet and warm conditions. This plant develops a main stem and many tillers and may range from 0.6 to 6 meters (floating rice) in height. The tiller bears a ramified panicle that measures between 20 and 30 centimeters wide.
Each panicle has 50 to 300 flowers (floret or spikelet), which form the grains.
The fruit obtained is a caryopsis. Rice presents a great capacity for ramifying.
Source : LAROUSSE
Rice is a source of magnesium, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, vitamin B6, zinc and copper. Some varieties have iron, potassium and folic acid. White rice is one of the poorest cereals in proteins; some improved varieties
however may provide 14g of protein per 100g.
Origin and history
In the beginning rice grew wild, but today most countries cultivate varieties belonging to the Oryza type which has around twenty different species. Only two of them offer an agriculture interest for humans:
- Oryza sativa: a common Asian rice found in most producing countries which originated in the Far East at the foot of the Himalayas. O. sativa japonica grew on the Chinese side of the mountains and O. sativa indica on the Indian side. The majority of the cultivated varieties belong to this species, which is characterized by its plasticity and taste qualities.
- Oryza glaberrima, an annual species originating in West Africa, covering a large region extending from the central
Delta of the Niger River to Senegal.
It is believed that rice cultivation began simultaneously in many countries over 6500 years ago. The first crops were observed in China (Hemu Du region) around 5000 B.C. as well as in Thailand around 4500 B.C. They later appeared in Cambodia, Vietnam and southern India. From there, derived species Japonica and Indica expanded
to other Asian countries, such as Korea, Japan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Indonesia. Japonica is an irrigated rice of temperate zone, with medium or short grains, also called round grain, and is a rainfed lowland rice of warm tropical zones. Indica is an irrigated rice of warm tropical zones, with long, thin and
The Asian rice (Oryza sativa) was adapted to farming in the Middle East and Mediterranean Europe around 800 B.C. The Moros brought it to Spain when they conquered the country, near 700 A.D. After the middle of the 15th century, rice spread throughout Italy and then France, later propagating to all the continents during
the great age of European exploration. In 1694 rice arrived in the South Carolina, probably originating from Madagascar. The Spanish took it to South America at the beginning of the 18th century.
Between 1500 and 800 B.C., the African species (Oryza glaberrima) propagated from its original center, the Delta of Niger River, and extended to Senegal. However, it never developed far from its original region. Its cultivation even declined in favor of the Asian species, possibly brought to the African continent by the Arabians
coming from the East Coast from the 7th to the 11th centuries.
Rice is the world's most consumed cereal after wheat. It provides more than 50 percent of the daily calories ingested by more than half of the world population. It is so important in Asia that it influenced local language and beliefs. In classical Chinese, the same term refers to both "rice" and "agriculture". In many official languages and local dialectics the verb "to eat" means "to eat rice". Indeed, the words "rice" and "food" are sometimes one
and the same in eastern semantics.
Rice, Georgia's first staple crop, was the most important commercial agricultural commodity in the Lowcountry from the middle of the eighteenth century until the early twentieth century. Rice arrived in America with European and African migrants as part of the so-called Columbian Exchange of plants, animals, and germs. Over time, profits from the production and sale of the cereal formed the basis of many great fortunes in coastal Georgia.
The heart of the United States rice industry lay in the South Atlantic region from the early eighteenth century until the late nineteenth century. After South Carolina, Georgia was the leading producer in this region. Beginning in the 1880s, the center of the U.S. rice industry shifted to the "Old Southwest"—Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas—and later to California as well. Commercial rice production in Georgia and other parts of the South Atlantic region collapsed completely in the first decade of the twentieth century. Nonetheless, its legacy on the landscape and people of coastal
portions of South Carolina and Georgia, and to a lesser extent southeastern North
Carolina and northeastern Florida, has been profound.
Rice is more than a simple side dish. As the staple food for more than half of the world's population, rice has earned its reputation as an indispensable grain. Rice has been cultivated since at least 5000 B.C. A descendent of a wild grass first cultivated in the foothills of the Himalayas, rice can be grown in a variety of climates and conditions, not just in the wet paddies of water-flooded farm fields as is widely presumed. Very versatile, some types are even tolerant of salt water!
Though large-scale growing methods are often used to produce rice, outside the U.S. and Australia most rice farms are smaller than five acres in size and the crops are planted and harvested by hand using ancient paddy techniques. This style of farming has been proven to be most effective with particular varieties, producing up to three crops each year. The slow-moving water eliminates the need for crop rotation to protect the health of the soil. Another benefit of the old way of rice farming is the natural aquatic eco-system in the flooded fields. Waterfowl, frogs and fish enrich the soil and provide additional food for farm families, making chemical fertilizers and pesticides unnecessary. Only through hard work, community cooperation and time-tested ancient farming practices does this
Legend says this rice was originally grown only for the emperors of China. Purple-black in color, it is prizedfor its fragrant aroma, nutty taste and nutritional value.
Tender and sweet, this is known as the "prince of rice." Highly aromatic, similar to Basmati, its tiny grains cook quickly, yet retain a firm, delicate texture. Imported from Bengal.
Grown at 8,000 feet in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, this premium heirloom rice contains trace
minerals, resulting in a beautiful russet color and complex, nutty flavor.
A blend of 25% black short-grain japonica and 75% medium-grain mahogany-red rice. Chewy, but tender
with a full flavor that's good in stuffing or rice salads.
This long grain rice has a red bran layer. Its aroma while cooking is similar to hot buttered popcorn. Chewy
and sweet, similar to the flavor of brown Basmati.
Wild & Brown Mix
20% lake-harvested wild rice and 80% long grain brown rice. Parboiled to decrease cooking time. A milder and more economical alternative to wild rice.
Wild Rice Blend
A hearty blend of long grain brown rice, sweet brown rice, Wehani™ , japonica, and wild rice.
With different grain size, texture and flavor, each variety of rice lends itself better to certain types of dishes than to others. Just think of the diverse characteristics of the rice in favorite foods such as paella, sushi, rice salad or a pilaf.Long Grain
This is a generic classification for rice in which the milled grain is at least three times as long as it is wide. Though common varieties are usually simply labeled "long grain," some specific varieties are: basmati, Patna, Dehra Dun, Calmati, Carolina, Della, Himalayan Red, jasmine, jasmati, Louisiana pecan, American, javanica, bulu, wild pecan, Louisiana popcorn, Persian, ambar-boo, darbari, dom-siah, sadri, rosematta, Texmati, Thai black, Thai red, and Wehani™.Medium Grain
The generic size classification for rice whose grain is less than three times as long as it is wide. Medium grain rice is sometimes labeled "Short Grain," simply to distinguish it from Long Grain. Again, though common varieties may only be labeled "medium grain," specific types include: japonica, baldo, Turkish, bash ful, Bhutanese Red, mahogany-red, bomba, CalRiso, Camargue, carnaroli, arborio, devzira, Egyptian, Kalijira, gobindavog, Italian, lido, roma, rosa marchetti, vialone, Japanese, sweet, Spanish, Valencia, Calasparra, Thai sticky, Vietnamese red, and Vietnamese cargo.Short Grain
This generic size classification indicates a grain that is less than twice as long as it is wide, yet often Medium Grain and Short Grain are combined into this one category. Once again, common varieties are sometimes simply labeled "short grain," whereas others are more specific, such as: sushi, Balinese black, Balinese purple, CalRose, mochi gome, pearl, gerdeh, and pudding.Polished Rice
Another name for white rice that has been polished to remove the bran and germ.Parboiled Rice
Slightly yellowish or beige in color, this type of rice cooks more slowly than white rice, yet many prefer its fluffy, separated texture once cooked. It is produced by soaking, boiling or pressure steaming, then drying before it is milled, gelatinizing the starch in the grain and infusing some of the bran's nutrients into the kernel.Converted Rice
This is parboiled rice (see above) that has been further pre-cooked so that it does not take as long to prepare in restaurants or at home.Instant or Quick Rice
This is simply pre-cooked rice that has been dehydrated and packaged. Though it takes much less time to cook at home, the results are less than favorable in both flavor and texture.Brown Rice
Also called "whole grain" rice, brown rice is much more nutritious than white rice of any kind. The difference is in the bran, which is the brownish covering of the grain where almost all the nutrients reside. White rice is simply brown rice with the bran removed, followed by polishing. A wide selection of brown rices from basmati to sushi rice is readily available.Wild Rice
Though it's called rice, and cooks much like rice, "wild rice" is not actually rice at all. It is the seed of a long-grain marsh grass native to the area of the northern Great Lakes. Its nutty flavor, chewy texture and pleasing appearance makes a great addition to rice pilafs or simply cooked along with plain brown rice.
White Basmati Rice, White Jasmine Rice, White Texmati Rice
1/4 cup (dry) contains: (numbers based on Basmati)
Brown Rice: Basmati, Texmati, Long Grain, Medium Grain, Short Grain, Sweet Brown
1/4 cup (dry) contains: (numbers based on long grain brown)
1/4 cup (dry) contains: