How often do you have rice for dinner? Do you make it at home in big batches with a rice cooker? Do you steam it on the stove with a simple pot? Or do you only have it whenever you get takeout or delivery from your local Chinese restaurant? Rice is far more widespread in cultures around the world – and not only in Asia! Keep reading to learn more about the many uses of rice, and how it is made.
The History of Rice
When does the history of rice begin? It is widely believed that rice was first cultivated as far back as 10,000 BCE. Rice seems to have originated in Asia, as archeological research backed up this theory. Evidence also exists that rice cultivation began in Thailand in 4,000 BCE and would be exported to other parts of Asia. By 400 BCE at the latest, rice had reached Africa and the Middle East, and then by 330 BCE, it had appeared in Greece and other parts of the Mediterranean world.
Rice followed settlers and colonists to the New World, as it took root in America in the 1600s, paving the way for commercial production in 1685. And now you can find rice at Asian grocery stores, food trucks, and restaurants – Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, and even American.
How It Is Made
Upland and lowland farming are the two primary forms of rice production. Upland rice is sown into dry soil, while in lowland areas, wet and swampy conditions are favored. If you know what a rice paddy is, then the chances are good that is a form of the lowland farming method. Rice grown in lowland areas produce higher yield crops and are more nutritious because there are more nutrients to be found in the water.
How It Can Be Used
Believe it or not, rice has a great many uses besides for nourishment. Rice bran can be converted into oil, while the hull can be used for gas, as well as fertilizer and insulation. The leaves and stems of rice plants can also be used to make rooftops, baskets, hats, and even bedding. Did you know that brown rice is more nutritious than its white cousin? The brown part also comes from the bran, which retains more nutrients than plain white rice can.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to better serve our customers. Opened since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.