The history of rice is intricately woven to Eastern cultures. It was in the East that rice originated and was first cultivated thousands of years ago, probably when a few seeds of wild rice fortunately found their way into some water - logged garden in Thailand, China, India or Assam.
It was in China that the method of puddling and transplanting was first developed, while in South East Asia rice was originally produced under dry land conditions. In these parts of the world the terms for rice and food have always been synonymous and rice is the world's most consumed cereal after wheat.
O.K., so you live in the US, whichmeans that maybe there aren't any small local rice paddies near you, but you will find organic rice in your local store, and it is comforting to know that ricelands provide a suitable habitat for hundreds of wildlife species.
Here are a few of the varieties of rice grown in the U.S.:
Basmati: a long grain non-glutinous rice, aromatic, perfect for adding goodies to it without it becoming gluey. Will remain nice and firm.
Jasmine: a white rice which can be substituted by Basmati. Has a slight jasmine aroma.
Arborio: this is the one used for risotto, the small pearly grains absorb juices and flavors better than any other
Wild Rice: not really a rice but a grain - the seeds of a water grass. It has been a staple of the Sioux and Chippawa for ages. Long, dark brown, nutty, smoky flavor. Wild rice paddies provide excellent breeding ground for wild life and water fowl