Almost 78% of our carbohydrate source dominated by rice, the rest are wheat and roots. Yet we are only the third largest rice-producing country worldwide. Food diversification programs are intensively attempted to redeem our dependency. Still, the average rice consumption of Indonesia comparatively high in Asia—it reached 139 kilograms per capita per year according to a December 2010 article in a local newspaper.
Well, as a matter of fact, we knew rice ever since before we could belch the alphabet. Prior to our lands' mutation into commercial high-storey buildings and estates, we used to have a vast paddy field from Sabang to Merauke. Rice, is in our blood. There even an anecdote amongst us, if you do not eat rice that means you have not eaten—at all.
We sure believe that rice is important not only to Indonesian. They just don't consume it as much as we do.
Rice is a grain of monocot plants, Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima, that has been separated from the chaff. As a cereal grain, it is the uppermost staple food for a large part of human population. In some cultures, rice is even considered sacred. It is also the second-highest worldwide food production, after corn.
More than 100 countries cultivate rice, result more than 110,000 varieties including sticky rices, wild rices and fragrant/aromatic rices. All can be categorized as long-, medium- or short-grain. Long-grain rices are thin, dainty, pointed and contain less amylopectin therefore relatively less sticky. While medium-grain and short-grain are plumper, starchier and more absorbent.
|Indonesian medium-grain rice (Oryza sativa var.).|
|Unmilled medium-grain rice.|
Substitutes: A lot of carbohydrate source can substitute rice for its nutrient. But so far, nothing can replace its characteristic as main ingredient in rice-based dishes.
GrowinKitchen's recipes using rice:
Javanese Red and White Rice Pudding
Mixed Rice with Garlic