It is estimated that there are about 140,000 cultivated rice varieties in the world. No one can really be sure, however, how many native
rice varieties existed before or still exist. For example, it has been claimed that India alone has lost about 300,000 varieties leaving
approximately 100,000 varieties behind.
The rice grain, commonly called a seed, consists of the true fruit or brown rice (caryopsis) and the hull, which encloses the brown
rice. Brown rice consists mainly of the embryo and endosperm. The surface contains several thin layers of differentiated tissues that
enclose the embryo and endosperm.
Click here for Varieties of Rice
Indica vs. Japonica
Rice is roughly divided into two types: the sticky, short grained japonica or sinica variety, and the non-sticky, long-grained indica variety. The characteristics and forms of these two types of rice differ.
Japonica are usually cultivated in dry fields, in temperate East Asia, upland areas of Southeast Asia and high elevations in South Asia. The grains are round and do not easily crack or break. When cooked, this rice is sticky and moist.
Indica are mainly lowland rices, grown mostly submerged, throughout tropical Asia. The grains are long and tend to break easily. When cooked, the rice is fluffy and does not stick together.
Aromatic rice is a medium to long-grained rice. It is known for its nut-like aroma and taste, which is said to be caused by the chemical compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline. Varieties of aromatic rice include: basmati, jasmine, Texmati, Wehani, and wild pecan rice. When cooked, the grains have a light and fluffy texture.
Glutinous rice (also called sticky rice, sweet rice, waxy rice, botan rice, biroin chal, mochi rice, and pearl rice) is a type of short-grained Asian rice that is especially sticky when cooked. It is called glutinous in the sense of being glue-like or sticky and not in the sense of containing gluten; on the other hand, it is called sticky but should not be confused with the other varieties of Asian rice that become sticky to one degree or another when cooked.
POTFUL OF RICE FOR THE FUTURE
“A researcher and a farmer in Odisha show the way to preserve India’s indigenous rice varieties, in face of tremendous onslaught from seed and chemical fertiliser companies.” To read the full story please click the following URL link:
Heirloom Rice from the Philippines
Eighth Wonder, Inc. is a socially responsible business that is importing select varieties of heirloom rice from the famed mountain terraces of the Philippine. To find out more do visit their website at