Rice. The staff of life for nearly all of Asia. So pure in its snowy simplicity, yet so complex in its cultivation. Rice is at least seven to ten thousand years old. From its birth up to today there was a continuous process of improvement in growing this crop. Although it is mostly connected with poverty and hard work it is a symbol of life and fertility, which is why it gets thrown at almost every wedding. People were blowing soap bubbles at mine though.
There are more than 40.000 varieties of rice that grow across every continent with exception of Antarctica. The latest revolutionary improvement came during the so-called green revolution in the 1960s that was initiated by the International Rice Research Institute. Imagine working there, researching grain by grain. Wow. The new technology spread quickly all over the world and produced a huge jump in rice grain production. The purpose was always to feed the rising population and to hold excess of rice for future needs. If you’d like to check the down side of this idea watch Rithy Panh’s film Rice People from 1994.
Regarding the plus-minus facts we love rice. At least I’m bringing it to the menu more often then I used to. In all forms and flavourful combinations. For example. Mince one onion. Chop a green pepper into small cubes. Thinly slice an apple and a banana. Cut a few pickles into matchsticks. Pan on heat. Olive oil. Curry on. Onion on. Five minutes. Everything else you’ve cut on. Spoon of honey. Another five minutes. Mix with cooked basmati rice or any other of 40.000 varieties. Few tablespoons of yogurt in. Olive oil in. Juice of half a lemon in. Chopped parsley in. Mix all together and you have your sweet ‘n’ sour rice bomb. Go for it.