FAQ - Rice

Q. What is rice?
Rice is the common name for the genus Oryza. A kind of grass, rice grows best when submerged in water. It is the staple food for over half the world's population.

Q. What is a paddy?
A paddy is a field that is flooded with water. Rough rice is also called paddy rice. 

Q. What is hybrid rice?
Hybrid rice is a new sort of rice developed by China noted for its vigor and yield potential. Half of China's rice land is planted to such rice and two-thirds of all the rice harvested in China are hybrids. First generation hybrids produce seeds in very high quantities. But this seed, while good for eating, is not good for planting; it would produce a poor crop.

Q. Is it true that rice is grown on all continents?
No, but rice is cultivated on six of the seven continents: Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, as well as North and South America. The only missing continent is Antarctic where it is far too cold to grow anything. Rice is also cultivated in islands around the world, from Cuba to Madagascar.

Q. Why is rice so popular as a food?

A. It is easy to cook, easy to store, and most importantly, it is inexpensive and filling. It is very digestible, making it ideal for babies and sick people who find it hard to eat very much.


Q. What nutrients can you get by eating rice?

A. Rice is high in complex carbohydrates, contains almost no fat, is cholesterol free, and is low in sodium. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, niacin, iron, riboflavin, vitamin D, calcium, and fiber. It is a fair source of protein containing all eight amino acids.


Q. What are the different ways rice can be served?

A. The way rice is served depends on the cook and the individual preferences of the rice eaters. Geography, agriculture, tradition, folklore, history, and even philosophy, all influence the way a person chooses to cook and eat rice. Rice is so versatile and easy to cook: you can steam it, boil it, bake it, and microwave it. You will find rice as an appetizer, a soup, a main meal, as a side dish, accompaniment, or as a dessert.


Q. What is basmati rice?

A. Basmati rice is a type of aromatic rice, grown mostly in India and Pakistan. It is renowned for its long, slender shape that elongates rather than expands in width when it is cooked. The word basmati means "queen of fragrance," and the rice is distinguished by its aroma.


Q. What is brown rice?

A. It is a rice with the hull removed and the bran layers left clinging to the grains. The color is tan, and the flavor is nutty with a slight chewy texture. It is slightly more nutritious than enriched white rice, with twice as much fiber, five times the vitamin E, and three times the magnesium.


Q. What do you refer to as parboiled or converted rice?

A. It is rice that has been steam-pressure treated before milling, forcing all the nutrients from the bran layer into the endosperm. The rice is firm in texture and separate when cooked.


Courtesy: IRRI