Rice is a grain of the plant Oryza sativa, and is an essential part of a variety of meals around the world. It is the most widely consumed cereal crop and provides one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. It is the second most common grain grown worldwide after corn, and it can be cultivated in a wide variety of soils, ranging from tropical wetlands to dry land in the United States.
Rice has been a staple food for many centuries and has been cultivated in virtually every continent that is suitable for growing rice. This is due to its ability to grow in warm, subtropical climates and is suited to most regions that have ample water for cultivation.
There are about 120,000 varieties of rice in the world, including long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain styles, each with unique culinary preferences. Across the world, rice is used in a variety of dishes, from soups to desserts.
The nutritional value of rice varies greatly depending on how it’s refined, whether it’s white or brown and whether it’s enriched with vitamins or minerals. Whole-kernel milled rice is typically the most expensive, but it has more nutrients than refined or white rice.
It’s often eaten on its own, but it can be combined with other foods for a wider range of flavors and textures. For example, it is a popular base for sushi, a Japanese dish that is made by combining rice with a variety of other ingredients and then eating it with a knife. It also is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, where it’s cooked in a variety of ways.
Most of the world’s rice is grown in Asia, where it’s a staple of the diet and a major source of income. In fact, China and India are the two largest producers of rice in the world, supplying over one-fifth of the world’s supply.
Domesticated rice originated more than 100 000 years ago, and is characterized by a deep population structure that spans the indica and japonica subspecies. The two subspecies differ in phenotypic traits and are differentiated by QTLs that have been linked to domestication. These differences have been uncovered through a variety of genetic methods, and it is likely that domesticated rice originated from pre-differentiated pools of wild rice before they were crossed with a wild strain of rice to form the domesticated type of rice.
In ancient times, rice was an important part of human life in South Asia and Africa. It was transported from these areas to other parts of the world by trade, and it has since become an essential food crop for more than half of humanity.
As a food, rice is high in carbohydrates and low in protein. However, it is deficient in several vitamins and minerals.
It is a highly versatile grain that can be eaten as a snack, steamed or boiled. It can also be ground into a flour and used to make noodles or other products. It can also be flavored with salt, herbs or spices to create a number of different dishes. In addition, it is a major component in many different types of beverages.