- To push cooked food through a perforated kitchen tool called a ricer. The resulting food looks like rice.
- Rice, throughout history, has been one of man's most important foods. Today, this unique grain helps sustain two-thirds of the world's population. It would be hard to imagine Japanese cooking without rice. In fact, it would be downright impossible, for the two are linked even more tightly than Italian cooking and pasta. So vital is rice to the Japanese diet that the word for rice, "gohan," also means "meal." And that "meal" is not quite like the rice eaten in the West. For while Americans prefer long-grained rice, Japanese lean strongly towards short-grained, rather stubby rice, that emerges from the rice cooker in a slightly sticky state -- the better for the making of sushi.
History: Archeological evidence suggests rice has been feeding mankind for more that 5,000 years. The first documented account is found in a decree on rice planting authored by a Chinese emperor about 2800 B.C. From China to ancient Greece, from Persia to the Nile Delta, rice migrated across the continents, eventually finding its way to the Western Hemisphere.
Enterprising colonists were the first to cultivate rice in America. It began quite by accident when a storm-battered ship sailing from Madagascar limped into the Charleston South Carolina harbor. The ship's captain made a gift of a small quantity of "Golden Seed Rice" (named for its color) to a local planter. By 1700, rice was established as a major crop for the colonists. That year, 300 tons of American rice, referred to as "Carolina Gold Rice," was shipped to England. Colonists were producing more rice than there were ships to carry it.
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