Oriza sativa and Oriza glaberrima
Rice (Oriza sativa) is probably the most
important food grain ever and it has been a staple of the largest part of the
world for millennia. It is first known from the Yangtze Valley in China
around 12000 BC and by 3000 BC it was the main crop plant throughout most of
Asia and India. Another member of the rice family (Oriza glaberrima)
was first seen in the Niger Delta in Africa about 1500 BC, though this type of
rice was predominantly a local crop to that area.
In the last 2000 years, Asiatic rice has been introduced to the Mediterranean and into the Middle East. The plant was introduced to the Americas by the Spanish around 1520 AD.
There are four major cultivars of rice;
Japonica - Including the varieties; Jasmin and Mochi:
Indica - including the varieties; Basmati; Patna; Ponni; Sona Masoori and Anbemohar:
Aromatic - including the varieties; Thai fragrant; Vietnamese fragrant and Texmati (a recent cultivar from the USA):
Glutinous - including the varieties; Japanese sticky and Saki:
Rice flour is made from the Japanese sticky rice, which is a high gluten grain. The flour is used for biscuits, noodles and bread making.
Note: Wild Rice is the grain of the Canadian grass species Zizania, known also as Canadian rice or Water oats