Asian Rice
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Asian Rice, is 1 of 2 broad families of rice. Different types of Asian Rice is grown in 112 countries and on all continents. The other, African Rice, is really only found in West Africa.

Science’s best estimate is that Asian Rice (Oryza Sativa) was first harvested in the Yangtze River Valley of China around 12,000 B.C. The archeological record shows that rice was first harvested around 10,000 BC in the same area. Soon thereafter, Indica Rice and Japonica Rice were being farmed in central China.

The earliest rice artifacts found date from, roughly, 7000 B.C. but it wasn’t until around 3500 B.C., that widespread Rice farming spread south into Southeast Asia and west into Northern India and Nepal. The earlier rice artifact is likely an instance of wild rice, gathered by the local people. Perennial Wild Rices, (not to be confused with the unrelated Zizania palustris Wild Rice), still grow in Assam and Nepal. Around 1400 B.C., rice cultivation spread to Southern India and then into the Fertile Crescent.

The Muslims brought Asian Rice to Sicily and to what is present day Spain (the Iberian Penninsula) in the 10th Century where it was grown in Valencia and Majorca. Rice was popularized on the Italian mainland by the Duke of Milan (Ludovico Sforza) in the 1,400’s. Quickly thereafter, Rice cultivation spread throughout Italy and France. The European Age of Exploration saw Rice spread to every continent, including the Americas, where it is not a native plant.  Spanish Conquistadores introduced Asian Rice to the Americas at Veracruz, Mexico in the 1520’s.  

During the California Gold Rush, Chinese laborers immigrated to the U.S. and brought personal stashes of Asian Rice with them, which they grew for their own use. California’s commercial Rice harvest did not begin until 1912 in Richvale, Ca. Today, 6 California Counties, around the Sacramento River (primarily), grow the second largest Rice crop in the United States. Asia still produces 92% of the world’s Rice crop.

Varieties

Asian Rice (Oryza sativa) has two primary sub-species: Japonica Rice and Indica Rice. A third minor subspecies was originally called "Javanica," but now known as "Tropical Japonica Rice."

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes