Nigerians love eating rice; it is very hard for you to find a family in Nigeria who would not eat rice twice or thrice within a week. The interesting part of it is that rice can be cooked in different ways and served with different sauces.
In Nigeria, rice could be cooked plainly as white rice or with oil and pepper to make jollof rice. Also, Nigerians make fried rice and change the nature of the plain rice we know by adding fried ingredients. There is no doubt it is one of the most loved delicacies in this part of the world.
This is an important staple food to us as it has formed one of our major foods. Wedding ceremonies are thought to be incomplete when Jollof rice is not served there. As a matter of fact, who would host a party in Nigeria and not serve serve Jollof rice? If we do not find this food at your party, then there is no party.
As much as Nigerians are creative when it comes to cooking and transforming foods, rice would always be rice. The fact that it is being cooked as white, jollof or fried has not changed its name and origin. It still belongs to the same class of food.
There are some interesting facts about rice that you ought to know. Find some of them below:
1. Half of the world's population depend on it
Rice is an important food crop, the International Rice Research Institute says half of the world's population depend on rice. This means there are several countries who rely on this food. These countries also practice rice farming in order to meet the needs of their people. China is the leading producer of rice in the world.
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2. There are many varieties of rice
There are more than forty thousand varieties of rice. Despite this huge number, only a few is being grown and marketed worldwide. These varieties include the brown rice and white rice.
Brown rice is the whole grain rice that has its outer hull removed; removing the outermost layer, and hull of the rice kernel is least damaging to its nutritional value.
It is considered to be more nutritional than the white rice which goes through further processing in order to get rid of the bran and germ layer. When it becomes polished, we have the white rice that we are familiar with.
3. Ranging shelf life
The white rice that has not been cooked has a shelf life of about seven to ten years. This means that it can be stored for long under appropriate conditions.
The Uncooked brown rice has a shorter shelf life; it can last for three to six months as a result of the presence of bran. However, storing conditions would also improve the shelf life and make the rice lasts longer.
4. Rice is symbolic
Apart from the fact that rice is eaten worldwide, it also has some cultural uses. Rice is thrown at traditional weddings because it is a symbol of fertility and life.
5. Rice can be grown in most places
Rice is being grown in every continent of the world except in Antarctica. This food crop is usually grown on flooded lands or wet paddy. It is grown in the tropical rain forests of Africa and in arid deserts of the middle east.
In Thailand, people invite or call their families to a meal by saying 'eat rice'. In Japan, the same word for cooked rice is for meal.
6. There are different shapes of rice
Some grains of rice appear longer or shorter than the ones we are familiar with. That is because they are actually different.
Basmati rice has long grains with a unique flavor profile. the Long grain white rice is the refined white rice with a neutral flavor. Abrorio is the short grain white rice that ends up being sticky when cooked.
Jasmine is another type of rice; it is a long grained variety of rice which has a beautiful smell. The cooking time of these types of rice vary.
7. There are various products that could be obtained from rice
In Nigeria, rice could be transformed to Tuwo, an entirely different meal that is enjoyed in the northern parts of Nigeria. There are other products that could be gotten from rice and its by-products. Some of them include paper, cracker beer, straw, packing materials and so on.