Rus Articles Journal

Rice - “white gold“ or main bread of the world? Let`s begin with history...

Yes, called rice “saratsinovy millet“, “white gold“ … As soon as it was not called! There is a legend which came, apparently, from the island of Kalimantan (Borneo), and connected with a rice origin.

... Davny - long ago, in immemorial times, the azure sky settled down closer to the earth. Therefore gods often went down on the earth on the affairs - and righteous persons rose in heaven more often. Once in the sky one brave and fair young man came to be. Incidentally he saw rice kernels - and very much was surprised. On the earth of such plant did not know. One of gods treated the young man with boiled rice (then, present, in the sky cooked rice!) and the earthling so liked an entertainment that the young man wanted to bring to people this wonderful food. But spirits - guards, keepers of an entrance, prevented: “It is not necessary!“ (guards, they everywhere such, only in the sky of bribes do not take). Like, rice - food of the gods!

The earthling, having come back to Earth, sat having crossed legs and long puzzled over a problem. Suddenly he noticed at himself on heels … cracks. Having again gone to the sky, the young man hid in cracks at himself on heels rice kernels and thus presented to the fellow countrymen rice - food of the gods.

Apparently, the legend tells about an unprecedented, very first case of smuggling.

Sowing campaign rice - Oryza sativa L. - without any doubt, the major food plant in tropics and the subtropical countries. Its value is how big, it is possible to judge already because it the main food serves about seventy percent of all population of our slightly overpopulated planet!

And 70%, dear, are not jokes any more! Not jokes, and almost kind (and not really kind) five or six billion people - adults and children, women and men, and also several special citizens of Thailand who “missed“ by above-mentioned categories.

The maximum areas under rice - in Asia. More precisely, in Southern, Vostochnoy and Hugo - East Asia. Siberia, of course, being Asia too, cannot brag of rice yet. However, global warming soon (if scientific, various narrow experts do not lie...; by the way, Confucius said that “the scientific person cannot be clever, and clever - the scientist!.“) will improve these things soon.

The rice homeland, apparently, Hugo - East Asia - India, Vietnam, the Southern China, Indonesia where rice was cultivated nearly since the Stone Age. In the most ancient written sources of China it is mentioned that in 2800 B.C. (that is, nearly five thousand years ago) rice was cultivated rather widely - moreover, it appeared among five, neither more nor less, sacred plants (where also soy, wheat, millet and barley entered).

For the first time rice gained fame in Europe right after Alexander of Macedon`s campaigns to India. One of participants of a campaign, the historian Aristobulus, told the contemporaries and descendants that “ … rice gets divorced in India on the beds flooded by water. Height this plant reaches four elbows. It brings many ears and a lot of grain; it ripens at the right time when Galaxies come. Like a polba, it is exempted from films knocking-out. It grows also in the Bactrian, Babylon, Suz and Syria “.

And since eighth century (our era) already Arabs promoted distribution of Islam and culture of rice on the West, to Egypt and the ancient country of the garamant (“Fazaniya`s country“ - modern Fezzam, or Fezzam, in the territory of Libya) once attacking Pharaohs and other Egyptians in the chariots and also other countries of the Mediterranean.

The total area occupied under rice makes about hundred twenty million hectares today, and about 90% of these millions fall to the share of Asia that, you see, is quite natural. A lot of rice sowing is grown up in Argentina and Peru, in Brazil and Uruguay. From the European countries Italy is in the lead, perhaps, (more precisely, its southern areas). Cultivate rice also in the east of Transcaucasia, in the southern areas of the Far East, in the states of Central Asia which gained independence after collapse of the USSR, and also in the south of Ukraine and in Kuban, in the lower Don Current, near Rostov.

Here it is advisable to note that the sort Oryza (rice) includes 25 independent types widespread in tropics of Asia, Africa and even Australia - all of them, except one, rice sowing, are wild-growing, in the help of the person not persons in need at all (unless in protection from destruction, than the Person insufficiently Reasonable became famous). And sibling species with the cones which are falling down at fruits on joints - for example, the wild Oryza rufipogon rice were ancestors of our expensive rice sowing, most likely, (by the way, a malicious weed of crops of the rice cultivated!).

It is natural that, being a plant of ancient culture, by today rice of a sowing campaign contains about ten thousand various grades which (not to get confused finally in tremendous richness of individual traits) group in kind two hundred versions relating to two main subspecies - rice ordinary (Oryza sativa ssp. communis Gust.) with zernovka not less than 5 - 7 mm, and short-grain rice (Oryza sativa ssp. brevis Gust.) with zernovka up to 4 mm long.

Within the first subspecies a particular interest (and not only for gourmets!) the Indian branch - grades with long thin zernovka, and also a branch Chinese - Japanese, with wider zernovka represents. In each of these branches there are two groups of grades:

1) starchy, or unadhesive rice (var. utilissima L.) - endosperms at it in whole or in part vitreous, not boiling soft;

2) so-called sticky rice (var. glutinosa Lour.) - its endosperms in a break opaque, boils soft in continuous sticky weight.

Continuation with recipes follows …