[Sca-cooks] Period medieval rice, brown or white?

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Wed Jul 23 15:00:08 PDT 2008

< She went on to talk about serving beans with rice, but I had to make
sure it was brown rice not white. And something like a Squash ravioli,
but the pasta needed to be whole wheat ... >

Yikes... is she aware she's in a *medieval* group?? at this point, she
should bring her own meal...

This original comment started me wondering whether rice in medieval  
Europe was white or brow rice. Looking though  the rice-msg file in  
the Florilegium, I found some comments about white vs. brown rices  
such as this one from Bear:

<<< Brown rice is any rice which has not been milled to the point of  
the aeluronic layer.  Polished rice is milled rice that has been treated
with linseed oil to provide a "polish" coat.

Most rice in the U.S., brown and white, is long-grain rice, which is  
to what
I suspect you are really objecting.  Short grain and medium grain  
rices seem
to be starchier, cook better and have better flavor.  Some of the health
food brown rices I have encountered have actually been partially hulled
brown rice with a lot of chaff remaining.  Nutritional--maybe, but  
textural and taste deficient.

As a small aside, period rices were more likely to be short or medium  
rice. >>>

But what I don't find in there is clear evidence of whether medieval  
European rice tended to be brown or white or either. Presumably,  
there would have been a preference for white similar to that of  
"white bread" at least for the nobility. But it does take more effort  
to mill/polish away the brown coating, but again the nobles weren't  
unknown for doing such extravegances. Was there a technical  
difficulty in hulling/polishing the rice?

Anyone have any comments?

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas           
StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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