Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

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Chinese black glutinous rice

Rice flakes

Italian short-grain brown rice

Rice flour

The staple grain of over half the world’s population, there are hundreds of varieties, though these basically fall into two main types: long grain and short grain. Long grain rice has dry, separate grains when cooked and is often used in Indian cookery; short grain tends to have a stickier, softer texture and is a popular feature of Oriental cookery. Rice can be used in a wide range of savoury dishes, either as part of the dish itself, or as an accompaniment. It can also be used in desserts and salads. In the West, it is mainly white, refined rice that is eaten, though this is the least nutritious of all. Other varieties of rice include brown rice, Basmati (long grain), Italian or arborio (short grain) and pudding rice (mainly used in China and Japan), which can be either black or white. When boiled, it becomes sticky and sweet and is therefore used mainly in baking and confectionery. Apart from the whole grain, rice is also available in the form of flakes (made from either brown or white rice). These can be used to make a variety of muesli and also a rice porridge. Rice flour is a gluten-free flour made from both brown and white rice. It is used mainly in Oriental cookery for making noodles, cakes and biscuits. It is also used as a thickening agent. See also Wild rice.