Rice is an annual herbaceous plant originating from China, where it has been cultivated for ages. From China, it spread to all tropical and sub-tropical parts of the world. It also reached other areas in the world with temperate climates, including Italy – which is, to date, Europe’s largest rice producer. Today, rice feeds at least 4 billion people equals to more than half the world’s population.
The particular botanical feature of rice is to be found in its root, able to produce aerifero parenchymatous tissue, which allows the rice to live in an aquatic environment. This peculiarity strongly influences the cultivation methods, for which reason rice is grown on land completely covered by water. The collected product, called paddy rice, is not edible and must go through a “husking” process to remove the chaff. Depending on the degree of refinement, you can get brown rice, semi-brown rice and white rice. In brown rice, all of the nutritional contents (fiber, minerals, vitamins) are intact, while white rice, the most refined, is faster to cook, easier to digest and have a more delicate flavour.
Brown rice is very rich in B vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, selenium, calcium and manganese – fundamental for the absorption of vitamins in the human body. Selenium is particularly important for its strong antioxidant properties. These properties help to prevent cellular damage from free radicals that may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart diseases. While wheat is richer in protein, rice contains more starch, meaning that it absorbs larger quantities of water – up to three times its own weight – while cooking. For this reason, it has fewer calories and is more filling than pasta. Furthermore, out of all of the cereal grains, rice has the lowest allergenic potential.
* Chefs Tips *
Black Rice Red Rice & Ribe Brown Rice
40 minutes of cooking
15-18 minutes of cooking
Aromatic Long Rice
12-15 minutes of cooking
*Before using Rice rinse it thoroughly under running water and remove any debris that you may find
*Find the perfect texture by tasting your Rice while cooking
*Treat yourself with a glass of sparkling Prosecco and some White Fish & Pistachio Rice Croquettes
*Stay fresh and green by having a Vegan Chilled Aubergine Rice
*Enjoy the creaminess of an Italian Risotto combined with Pear + Gorgonzola & Walnut or Radicchio & Smoked Scamorza
*Travel across Asia for dinner having some Cantonese Rice
*Never forget a drizzle of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
*Still hungry? Have more here!