Let’s talk about RICE

31 Jul

Like the rest of Asian people, my mother is obsessed with rice.  I recently noticed that she would be very picky about what rice to buy and which rice match with what.  Seriously, I wouldn’t have a clue, because in my understanding I know that there are long grains rice, short grains rice, sticky rice and Thai Jasmine rice and that was it.  That is because I was raised only by Thai Jasmine Rice at home, and when I ate out I simply thought that the quality of the rice were bad.

The rice section at Paragon Departmentstore's supermarket

It’s not until almost ten years ago though that I came to realised that Thai rice does not equal just Jasmine Rice, but there are also many other types from different regions as well.  Although I still can’t distinguish the differences of the textures, but I guess I better leave it to the expert aka mom.

Interesting rice containers

Interesting rice containers

Few years ago, I asked my mother if  she would be considering moving overseas for her retirement as we strolled along the street of Melbourne.  She paused for a while before shaking her head. 

“I think I will die if I can’t eat rice”

I looked at her,confused thinking, ….but there is rice here…..

different colored rice

different colored rice

Looking back though, after travelling and living in different countries, I think I understand what she means. Everywhere I go I would hear people talking about Thai rice which means Jasmine rice in this case.  Even in Beijing, many Chinese love Thai rice more than their own.I also had a friend recently told me that, every time she comes to Thailand, she would carry bags of Thai rice back to her own country.

Packed rice

Packed rice

Because Thai rice is so popular, in 2001 there was a huge story about Thai goverment trying to stop US rice breeder to patent Jasmine rice.  And last month, Thai researchers had patented the Thai rice genes.  H.M. the King was very happy about this and he was quoted in Bangkok Post on the 25th June saying;

”I hope that every one of us will keep our Thainess by eating Thai rice, not farang rice”


I’m also happy about this news, because I can’t imagine sitting down at home eating farang(foreign) rice grown in Thailand.  That would be very strange.


One Response to “Let’s talk about RICE”

  1. lee August 3, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    I love the articles and the beautiful photos especially the article of thai rice. It is very true that we should protect our rice gene and we are Thai we should eat Thai rice not Farang’s!

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