At rice rainbow's end | Bangkok Post: lifestyle

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At rice rainbow's end

The sheer variety of our staple can make choosing your favourite something of a trial

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We have no way of knowing what new strains of rice will appear in the future, whether the grains will be long or short, soft or hard, or how their fragrance might differ from that of the types we have now. This is because, as it has come down to us from the past, rice has changed constantly. As the natural environment, the weather, water sources, and the character of the soil have changed over time, rice, too, has changed naturally. 

WIDE SELECTION: Different types of rice displayed for sale, as seen in markets in Bangkok suburbs and in the provinces.

Half a century ago most of Thailand’s rice was grown in the Central region, and only once a year. Only one type, called Kaw Khaw (the two first letters of the Thai alphabet), was grown. It was extremely hardy and could adapt to changing environmental conditions. When water from the North came down and flooded the rice fields it was able to grow above the water level. Today, everyone has forgotten what this rice tasted like.

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