Welcome to the new born food blog for CAT 125! In the following six weeks, this blog is going to act as a platform to share some information, tips and recipes all about food! My purpose of this blog is to allow college students and teenagers learn how to enjoy the process of cooking and taste food in a more simple and healthy perspective. Since this is my first time blogging, please feel free to leave comments as a way towards improving both the content and experiences! Enjoy =)

To be honest, the first blog entry is kind of hard to get started. As the brainstorm process went on for a few days,  I decided to give an introduction on rice. It sounds educational, but I believe it is an important point to bear in mind as it is one of the most essential food sources towards human beings. Rice comes from the family of grains.  As rice is a commodity, it is good to learn some of its background. According to the website of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, rice belongs to two Oryza types. They are Oryza Sativa and Oryza Glaberrima. “Sativa has rice originated in Chinese and Indian side of the mountains. While Glaberrima is an annual species originated in West Africa” (Characteristics- UNCTAD). Countries that grow and export rice are as follow: Australia, China, Japan, India, Thailand, Vietnam and The United States. Among the countries listed above, Thailand is one of the major rice providers among the world. According to the statistics report from 1995 to 2001, Thailand exports 26%, while The United States exports 11%. (Economic policies- UNCTAD)

In order to see how often Japanese and Thai rice products are located in people’s life, I made a trip to Mitsuwa Marketplace, a Japanese grocery store in San Diego, CA. Moreover, this demonstrates how people are able to get access to rice easily in everyday life. The following are photos taken in the grocery store.

1) Jasmine Rice. It is a product of Thailand, which is commonly found in grocery stores. It is a type of long grained rice, which is usually serve in Chinese and Thai cuisines.

2) Short grain white rice. This is a product of USA. “Short grain rice has a short, plump, almost round kernel. Cooked grains are soft and cling together, yet remain separate and are somewhat chewy, with a slight springiness to the bite” (USA Rice).

3) Brown Rice. Nishiki is a Japanese rice producer. Brown rice is a healthier choice when compared to white rice as it carries more fiber and nutrients.

4) Sweet Rice and Brown Sweet Rice. These two types of rice are chewy. They are good options for making desserts.

I have not tried all types of rice from the above photos. However, I came across a rice description website with the headline”Specialty or Varieties of Rice“. It provides information on different kinds of rice.Take Jasmine rice as an example, the list indicates the description, cooking hints, best uses followed by a recipe and directions. The short description allows readers to be more familiar with the certain type of rice. Jasmine is a type of white firm rice, which is quite sticky. It also mentions the product is from Thailand. The list includes all types of rice from the above photos, which act as a tool for carbohydrate lovers or rice fans to explore. On the other hand, one must not omit the health benefits of rice. Rice provides numerous health benefits to human. It has a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamins, it creates energy to function our brain and body. For health reasons, rice has low sodium and is able to prevent high blood pressure and decrease the possibility of suffering from heart disease. Asians are very keen on eating rice everyday. As rice is a commodity, it is easily located worldwide. If you need more benefits on rice, feel free to get more information from Health Benefits of Rice.

Trouble of how to buy rice? Visit local grocery stores is your best option. You may get it online as well, but I heard that the shipping fee is pretty expensive (due to the weight). I personally have not tried to purchase it online. The following are two options for getting it in store.

Mitsuwa Marketplace (Japanese grocery store)

San Diego Branch Address: 4240 Kearny Mesa Rd. #119, San Diego, CA 92111.

99 Ranch (Chinese grocery store)

San Diego Branch Address: 7330 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego,CA 92111.

For the next entry, I am going to demonstrate how to cook a bowl of delicious white rice!

Stephanie =)

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