Rice -

(see Color Page opposite): is the most extensively cultivated of grains and supplies the principal food of nearly half of the entire population of the world. It grows most freely on lowlands, especially on lands that can be flooded, but by irrigation it can be raised anywhere - in Japan, satisfactory crops are obtained even on the terraces of hills and mountainsides by periodic flooding from reservoirs above. It was first introduced into this country in 1694 from Madagascar by Captain Smith, who presented a bag of "paddy" or rough rice to a Charleston merchant, and from that start has developed a crop which now amounts annually to many millions of dollars.

The fact that rice has not, in the past, occupied the position in the American dietary to which it seems entitled, is attributed to the fact that, until recently, reliance was placed to a great extent on importations. To-day, however, the United States is fast developing into one of the world's great rice-growing countries - improved machinery, greater fertility of soil and the elimination of the expense of ocean transporation tending to offset the cheaper labor of Eastern countries. Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas are the chief producing states.

There is every reason why rice should be an every-day article of diet in American homes - even more so than potatoes, for it is more nutritious, very easily digested and, when properly cooked, very palatable. Polished rice contains an average of nearly 88% of nutrients - a little more than wheat. The components include 8% protein, 79% carbohydrates and a small amount of fat. Unpolished rice includes 7% of fat, or six times as much as wheat (see food values). In countries where it is the principal article of food, the nitrogenous material (the protein) required to complete the human diet is supplied by the use generally of beans, peas, etc., and frequently also of fish and other kinds of flesh.

rice is graded by size and condition - the latter according to the greater or less damage in hulling and cleaning. The chief commercial classifications are, in a descending scale of quality, "fancy head rice," choice, prime, good, fair, ordinary, common, inferior and screenings.

Patna rice, of small, slender, well-rounded pearl-white grains, is the most esteemed of Eastern products. Other important types are the Japan, Java, Siam, Bassein and Rangoon. The bulk of imported whole rice comes from Japan, with China next, but a long distance behind.

The Japan, Carolina and Honduras rices are the best known of American growth. Carolina is large, sweet and of good color. Japan-style, which also ranks very high, is a thicker-bodied, soft-grained variety. Honduras-style is a more slender grain.

The preparation of rice for the market involves (1) thrashing, which gives "paddy" or rough rice, (2) milling, or hulling, to remove the husks, and (3) polishing, to produce the pearly gloss considered so desirable.

The polishing process, though improving its appearance, is a blunder from the standpoint of food values, as it robs it of nearly all its fatty properties - lessening its nutritive qualitites and depriving it of the richer taste which makes the rice served in oriental countries seem so much superior to the same grain eaten here. Better acquaintance with high grade unpolished rice would result in wider appreciation of the grain. It requires, however, greater care in storing and handling, as it is more subject to the depredations of weevils.

Large quantities of rice flour, rice meal, etc., are also imported for both commercial and edible purposes from Europe, occasionally to twice the quantity of imported whole rice. Germany, England and Holland are the principal sources. In purchasing ground rice, avoid the dead, chalky-white kind - the brighter, less white product is superior.

Grocers in the South need no advice on the rice question, for they sell a lot of it - even moderate-sized stores carry large stocks of various grades and feature it just as any other leading article - but it will pay grocers in the North to give much more attention to it than they have in the past. It is easily carried and can be made to pay good profit.

rice should never be stored in a damp place - nor the bags on a stone floor - as either procedure will cause it to deteriorate in appearance. That sold in packages or cotton "pockets" or bags is, for sanitary reasons, generally preferable to the product sold in bulk.

The housewife who will direct part of her attention to the many possibilities in cooking rice, will be rewarded by an improvement of her table at a decreased expense. There is practically no limit to the ways in which it can be used - separately or with other articles.


boiling rice, see that the water is boiling hard before the rice is added; then, as the addition of the rice will stop the boiling, stir until the boiling point is again reached. After that, do not stir at all but see that the fire keeps the water boiling and add boiling water if too much evaporates. The action of the boiling water will prevent the rice from burning, but it will not break the grains as stirring does. The result of the observance of these simple directions will be rice that is thoroughly cooked yet which has every grain clean and separate.

Arround Rice in The Grocer's Encyclopedia

Rice Paper

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