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

Louise Smithson helewyse at yahoo.com
Thu Jul 24 05:11:51 PDT 2008

We don't have very good proof that medieval rice was white but we have good circumstantial evidence.
1) brown rice goes rancid really quickly
2) it is very simple to polish rice, you need a really large pot and a stick, (something that looks like a giant mortar and pestle) you pound the rice and it polishes itself. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Cajun_woman_hulling_rice.jpg)
3) There are dishes made with rice which are "white" specifically biancomangere or the various blancmanges. 
I did a whole bit on this for doc a while back and it can be found here: 

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?



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