Red. Brown. Pink. Black. Buff and of course, white. These vibrant shades have given the world distinct flavours of rice for generations. With the advent of modern technology and the rapid need to feed growing populations, mass processing became necessary and thus was born the uniform white rice that is consumed by most people all over the world.
The history of rice dates back to before the Common Era, and is now widely believed to have grown as a kind of wild grass in the foothills of the Himalayas. Alexander’s trans-continental expedition took rice back into Greece from where it entered Europe. Rice made its way to the Americas only with Columbus’ expedition; it was only in the seventeenth century that South America witnessed the wonder-crop that is rice. Traditionally, there are 24 different species of rice grown across India. Of these, 21 varieties are wild, whilst two have been domesticated in India. Of these species, there are hundreds of varieties in each. Karnataka alone is home to more than 700 varieties of rice!