Friday, February 22, 2008
Rice - A white truth
Rice is believed to have originated in southern Asia - it is known to have been cultivated in India and China for more than 6500 years. Yet it did not make an appearance in Europe until around AD 1000. It reached England's shores during Elizabethan times, when it was imported from Spain.
Rice cannot be grown in the cold British climate and a large proportion of the rice now eaten in Britain comes from Carolina in North America. On a world scale, however, 90 per cent of all rice is still grown and consumed in Asia.
In some oriental cultures, rice is the symbol of life and fertility. Perhaps that is the origin of the widespread custom of throwing rice at newly married couples.