Rice. Sassy, loose, creamy! Rice is one of the food basis and also one of the major energy sources of more than half the world’s population. Its nutrients make it a food suitable for nourishing even the most debilitated persons and is recommended for a wide range of purposes, such as detoxification, diets, gastrointestinal diseases, sedentary lifestyle or even depressive states. It is usually consumed after its whitening, process that consists in extracting by mechanical means, the grain and the film, losing much of its nutritive value, minerals and vitamins.

It is predicted that about 30,000 hectares of rice are cultivated in Portugal, distributed mainly by the Mondego, Tejo and Sorraia, Sado valleys and also by private irrigation systems in the south of the country. It is classified commercially among three different types: short or round grain, medium grain and long grain where the Agulha and Carolino are inserted. The first grain is rich in starch and tends to stick during cooking, making it creamy, indispensable for risottos and desserts. The long grain is poorer in starch and ideal for loose rice.

By the way, do you know we have the highest consumption, per capita, of rice? About 17 kg / year. Although this figure is one tenth of the Asian average, it far exceeds consumption in other European countries. Until recently we were practically reduced to the varieties like carolino and agulha, but luckily it is already possible to have access to many more types of rice, such as basmati, thai, glutinous (for sushi) and the 3 special varieties For risotto.

Now that you know something else about this cereal, how about some sweet rice pudding?