[Sca-cooks] brown rice
t.d.decker at att.net
Mon Jul 9 14:57:05 PDT 2012
"Brown" rice is more properly "wholegrain" rice, that being rice which has
had the husk removed and the bran and germ left intact. Depending on the
precise cultivar, the bran, which is the exterior of the seed, can be near
white, light brown, brown, red or black (possibly dark purple). "White"
rice is "milled" or "polished" rice, which has had the bran and germ removed
by milling. Darker brans have a chemistry that may color the endosperm (the
starchy core of the seed), so technically, you can have red or black "white"
Any culture that can produce rice flour can produce polished rice, so the
origin of polished rice could be in prehistory. I am more of the mind that
polished rice is of Persian origin (as an offshoot of parboiled rice) and
was likely introduced into Europe during the Islamic expansion. Parboiling
rice gelatinizes and hardens the endosperm and permits the bran to be easily
removed by rubbing (variants of this technique are used in modern
polishing). A couple of sources I have encountered suggest that this
technique began somewhere around the Persian Gulf to improve the storage
life of rice. Harold McGee, "On Food and Cooking," states that India has
been polishing its rice for 2,000 years. If the technique is as old as
stated, then it and rice were likely introduced into the Mediterranean Basin
during the Islamic expansion,
> I am currently trying to research the usage of brown vs white rice in
> period. The only mention that i have found so far is that white rice came
> in in Japan in the 17th C.
> Does anybody have a source that can shed more light? Gut feelings says.
> brown rice, but that tends to be unreliable ;)
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