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THE RICE

The World of Rice

In the large family of the Oryzae an important position is occupied bythe species Oryza Sativa which is divided into four subspecies with two of these being the most noted: the subspecies Japonica and Indica.
In Greece as it is cultivated more the specie THAIBONET which belongs in specie's Indica. The Indica varieties are characterized by a translucent grain with a lower starch content and are commonly called "crystalline".
The specie Japonica, characterized by a "starchy amylaceous pearl" grain, and commonly called "variety non crystalline".
The rice plant Oryza Sativa is a graminea annual that produces flowers whose organs are protected by empty and by flowering glumes. At the mo-ment of blooming these flowers open
for a few minutes and it is then that fertilization takes place which is generally by self-pollination. From the time of its conception the rice grain will take 40/60 days to reach maturity and will be called paddy.
Its composition is clearly shown in diagram 1. An important distinguishing factor, also gastronomic ally, is the presence of the "pearl";
(see photographs A & B). Rice grains can appear totally translucent with a crystalline structure or they can have a "pearl" an opaque central zone where the amylaceous structure is farinaceous; a distinction that also contributes to their different behaviour in cooking.



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