|Kinds of Rice||Rice Plant||Rice Growth||Uses for Rice||Rice Recipe|
Kinds of Rice:
There are more than seven thousand different kinds of rice. The three kinds most common kinds are: long grain, short grain, and medium grain.
Long-grain rice is the longest kernel of all the kinds. It takes the longest to grow and the most water. Its also very expensive to mill. It is especially good to eat because the grains separate when they are cooked. Medium-grain rice is the most inexpensive to mill. It has a shorter growing season and a longer harvest than the others. This kind is the most popular one in the United States. It separates when cooked, but not as much as long-grain. Short-grain is also called Japonica. This is the easiest to mill and is sticky when cooked. It is most popular in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Did you know that rice comes in different colors; brown, white, red, blue, purple, and even striped!
The Rice Plant:
There are five main parts of a rice seed. The embryo , or tiny plant-to-be, is tucked into one end of the seed and contains everything that will become a rice plant. The cotyledon helps the plant live and plays an important part in the growth of the plant. It digests food for the embryo. The endosperm is a milky white substance that fill most of the seed and is loaded with starch and other nutrients the plant will feed on until it can produce its own food. The seed coat is several layers that protects the seeds important contents. The hull is another layer that helps keep the important contents protected.
When the plant begins to grow, the root pushes down through the soil and the shoot pushes up through the surface and becomes the stem and leaves.
Rice grows all over the world. Countries of Asia devote more than 300 million acres of land to growing rice. To grow rice, fields are flooded with water, because rice needs so much (although it doesnt need as much as farmers once thought, but the water does keep weeds down.)
Rice grows best in warm places. The temperature for growing rice needs to be at least 75 degrees. After the seeds are soaked in water they are ready to be planted. In many Asian countries rice seeds are sown by hand in special nursery beds. Then they are transplanted to rice fields. In the United States low-flying airplanes are often used to broadcast the seeds. It takes three months to grow rice. Harvesting rice has to be timed just right.
If you harvest it too early, the kernels dont cook well. If you harvest it too late, the kernels fall off the plant when you pick it. After it is harvested, the kernels are separated from the stalk. This is called threshing. The rice is dried and then made into brown rice or white rice. Brown rice is rice with just the hull removed. White rice is rice that has the nutritious bran layer polished off so that it will last longer and look prettier. It also makes it more digestible for some people.
Uses For Rice:
The largest use for rice of course is food. All throughout the world people eat rice. An interesting reason for it being so popular is that it is so easily digested. Even the sick, elderly, and babies can digest this grain very well if cooked. Even people who are allergic to lots of other foods can eat rice.
You can make flour, pudding, bread, cakes, and even candy from the kernels. Rice straw can be made into fuel or as thatch for the roofs of houses and sheds. It can also be twisted into rope, made into sandals, mats, rugs, blankets, brooms, raincoats, and even boots! Sometimes the stalks are pressed for the oil that is in them.
The hulls can be used in industry for polishing, as fertilizer, or for making paper and wallboard. People are still trying to find new uses for rice. The Japanese are trying to turn rice hulls into cosmetics and photographic film.
Baked Rice Pudding Recipe:
This bears no resemblance to the standard cafateria version. Long, slow baking gives the rice a golden color and a thick creamy texture. Some purists don't even like the addition of nutmeg, but it does give the pudding a lovely flavor. Serve warm or cold, with heavy cream.
4 cups (1 L) milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (125 g) suger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
3 tablespoons rice
Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C). Put all the ingredients in a buttered baking dish and stir to blend. Bake for 3 1/2 hours, stirring three times during the first hour of baking so the rice doesn't settle.
Raisin Rice Pudding: Add 1/2 cup raisins to the ingredients.
Chocolate Rice Pudding: Add 2 ounces melted unsweetened
chocolate to the ingredients.
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