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This is the Something About Food? Blog, where Chef Chris Clarke discusses new podcast episodes, travel, restaurants, and more!

A blog about food, family, and travel by the mostly-vegan Chef Chris Clarke.   

Good Food News - Saving Indian Rice Strains

Salam Olattayil/Courtesy of Edible Archives

Salam Olattayil/Courtesy of Edible Archives

Although noodles and potatoes are my all time favorite carbs, rice is right up there in my esteem. Which is why I adore this story from NPR about a push to bring back and save the many varieties of rice in India.

According to the article “India is known to have cultivated thousands of varieties of rice. Even a century ago, communities across India grew their own strains of rice, and consumed them according to the needs of the season or the cuisine.”

The Edible Archives Project aims to showcase the sheer range of rice varieties grown in India and throw the spotlight specifically on those which have almost vanished from the country's foodscape or are grown only in small communities.

Rice has been an important part of Indian rituals for centuries. There is the ceremony during which a baby is first fed mashed rice as solid food, turmeric-infused yellow is rice showered as a blessing at weddings, and on the final journey, where rice is offered to the departed soul. Even the sick are fed a loose rice porridge, with or without lentils as comfort food.

Saving these varieties is a way of saving and sharing the culture as well as the agriculturally significant diversity.