Different types of rice

There are over 40,000 different types of rice.  However, only 10% of these are marketed and sold. The global rice trade is dominated by four varieties – Indica, Japonica, aromatic and glutinous. 

  • Indica rice is produced in tropical and subtropical parts of the world.  It is dry and fluffy, and can be used in any style of cooking.  This is the most intensively produced type of rice, making up over 75% of global rice trade. 
  • Japonica rice is usually produced in slightly cooler climates such as California.  It is sticky and moist, and is used in Japanese and Caribbean cooking.  This variety of rice accounts for over 10% of global rice trade. 
  • Aromatic rice includes Jasmine (from Thailand) and Basmati (from India and Pakistan).  Jasmine rice is soft and slightly sticky, and works well with Chinese and South East Asian food.  Basmati rice – known as the ‘Prince of Rice’ – is used in Indian dishes.  Aromatic rice comprises over 10% of global rice trade. 
  • Glutinous rice is grown in Southeast Asia.  It is sticky like glue, and is used in desserts.  It accounts for the remainder of global rice trade. 

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