HOW TO CHOOSE RICE

27 settembre 2013

On the threshold of the Third Millennium, rice remains the staple food of the greater part of the world’s population and the source of 20% of the world’s nutritional supply. It has been cultivated for more than 10,000 years in its two principal sub-species: Indica in the tropics and Japonica in temperate zones.

Indica varieties, slim and crystalline in appearance, are adapted for cooking in water (the most widespread method in the world):

  • remain consistently firm;

  • are only slightly glutinous, because the starch is not lost in cooking;

  • absorb little of the cooking liquid;

  • have a neutral flavour, perfumed in the case of the aromatic varieties ( the most highly prized of which is Basmati, grown in the foothills of the Himalayas).

Japonica varieties, more or less round and pearl-coloured, are ideal for risotto:

  • have a variable consistency;

  • readily lose their starch during cooking and so the grains become glutinous and bind together;

  • absorb cooking liquids and flavours well.

Waxy varieties, of both Indica and Japonica species, known as glutinous although they do not contain glutens, have a perfectly white colour:

  • are by no means consistent;

  • lose a great deal of starch during cooking and so become very “sticky” and glutinous;

  • absorb cooking liquids exceptionally well.

From all this varieties not only white rice can be processed but also:

Integral rice is obtained by eliminating only the external, non-edible part of the grain. It can be naturally white, red or black in appearance:

  • cooks in 50 minutes;

  • does not absorb cooking liquids;

  • is more nutritious and flavoursome.

Parboiledrice, to understand its ever-increasing use worldwide it’s worth knowing that this is obtained, by pre-cooking the harvested grains before the drying process to increase their elasticity during milling. This process leads to a considerable reduction in the percentage of broken grains and therefore achieves a higher yield in the industrial milling even of the most fragile varieties.The obtained rice:

  • is “chewy”;

  • does not bind together;

  • does not absorb cooking liquids;

  • is characterized by a slight smoky flavour, considered not very palatable.

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