Rice is the principal food for about half of the world’s population. It is native to areas in India and China. Rice found its way from Asia to Europe via Persia, where the Arabs learned to grow and cook it. The Moors grew large quantities in Spain and later in Sicily. The Spanish and Portuguese introduced it to the Americas, South Carolina was the first commercial American planting. The valley of the Po River and the Lombardy plain in northern Italy, home of risotto, first produced rice in the 15th century. Italy today produces some of the finest rices.
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