We call it very Mexican because despite being a good part of our diet and accompanying traditional dishes, rice is not actually native to our country.
However, we still have it in our hearts (and stomachs) as one of our favorite basics, since in addition to accompanying things as delicious as stuffed chili peppers, mole or the stews that we eat daily, it is enough with remember the taste, aroma and texture of a bowl of rice pudding to feel comforted.
It was domesticated in China, although it is unclear whether it was in the Pearl River or Yangtze River region. The workers made mud with the earth to prevent water from seeping in and thus keep the pastures moist. They were also the ones who began to transplant seedlings, and with these practices, which remain active in rice cultivation, this grain was domesticated.
Various articles differ, some say that it has been cultivated for 7,000 years, while others say that it is almost 10,000 years in cultivation, and there are even some that claim that it has been cultivated for 14,000 years. It came from Asia; From there it spread to India, Africa, to different areas of the Mediterranean and later to Europe.
The Portuguese brought the grain to Brazil, and the Spanish to Central and South America, around the 1500's, and the adaptation of rice took a few years. Thanks to European navigators, rice joined corn and wheat as another staple grain in our diet, and it remains so to this day.
Its production in Mexico
Although it seems so, the consumption of this cereal in Mexico is not as high as in other Latin American countries; we eat 8.5kg per capita annually, while in other countries it is 48 to 62kg per capita per year. The lack of irrigation systems to grow rice has forced us to import it mainly from the United States, and also from other Latin American and Asian countries such as Uruguay, Panama, Thailand, among others; therefore, 80% of our rice consumption is imported.
In Mexico, rice is grown mainly in the states of Nayarit, Campeche, Michoacán, Jalisco, Colima, Tamaulipas, Morelos, Tabasco, Veracruz and Guerrero, with Nayarit being the main producer, with approximately 25% of national production.
Is it nutritious?
A lot! It is a rich source of carbohydrates, the body's main source of fuel. If you usually exercise or have a routine that requires energy, including it in your daily diet is ideal. Brown rice, especially, contains many nutrients, including fiber, manganese, selenium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Diets commonly suggest that at least half of your grains come from whole grains, and brown rice is considered a whole grain. But even white rice has nutrients. It is considered a good source of folic acid and is the cereal that contains the most protein, as well as essential amino acids. In short, YES, rice is a healthy staple that offers plenty of nutrients.
And although there are many myths about rice, the reality is that to date there is no study that proves that it is fattening.Just by looking at other cultures (such as the entire Asian continent) that have this cereal as something basic in their diet that they eat every day in multiple presentations and thus stay healthy, it is more than enough to understand that it does not play an important role in obesity The truth is that any food in excess can be detrimental to health, so it is always good to eat in measure.
Our traditional dishes
The dishes from other countries that are now so common in Mexico, such as sushi, curry, yakimeshi, Gohan, paella, Vietnamese rolls, fried rice, and many more, always take place on those days that we do not want cook because there are countless places that deliver these because of their speed and low cost, in addition to being delicious. The truth is that there is nothing like our way of cooking rice; These are some Mexican preparations with this grain:
- Red rice
- Mexican style rice
- Rice tamales
- Marinera style rice
- Rice lying down
- Green rice
- Rice pudding
Among many other delicacies, these are some that stand out. Did we miss any? Would you like to know recipes for these dishes? Leave us your comments on Instagram and Facebook! Remember that you can always find the best quality rice from Don Zabor at any Walmart, Superama, Bodega Aurrera, H-E-B, laComer, CityClub and Alsuper.