8 August 2008
The basic ingredients in Mediterranean Pyramid are bread, potatoes and rice. I´ve posted about the first two ingredients, now it´s time to write about rice.
It´s difficult to determine when rice was first cultivated but most authors defend that this type of plant has been cultivated for many years, specially in Oriental countries (around 7000 years in China).
Basically there are two types of cultivated rice: Oryza sativa L. (Asiatic origin) and Oryza glaberrima Steur (African origin).
Some authors say that rice became known in Europe after Alexandre Magno expedition to India but it was the Arabs that brought it to Iberic Peninsula.
In Portugal, Lezírias company is the oldest rice producer with near 200 years of history. In Portugal rice is produced near rivers like Tejo, Sado, Mondego and Sousel. We are the third biggest producer of rice in Europe, and the first bigger consumer.
Nowadays, rice is a very important ingredient in Portuguese menus and there are many traditional recipes that include this ingredient, like: “Arroz Doce” (sweet rice), “Arroz de Marisco” (seafood rice), “Arroz de Pato” (duck rice), etc.