Rice Around the World

Before the existance of technology, the majority of the population relied on books or hand-me-down remedies, stories, and recipes on how to do anything. With the introduction of portable electronic devices and constant access to the internet our everyday devices have replaced the need for books in several areas. It is no longer necessary for a home cooker or a professional chef to buy numerous cookbooks to create the perfect gourmet meal or quick dinner. All a cook needs now is internet access which plays a key role in helping you connect to cultures through food. The next major aspect to connecting to cultures is a similarity in food that is very accessible to practically anyone such as typical white rice.

If you look at each culture, evidence of rice is found in each groups diet, which means that rice can be found in practically in any household throughout the planet. Now there are three things that many people have in common, 1. access to the internet, 2. rice at home, and 3. plenty of recipes that consist of rice. Take the rice information from the Anatomy of Crop Plants Project website into consideration. We know that rice is used all around the world, why not transform your own rice into something a person across the planet would make for dinner or a snack or even in alcoholic beverage. Learn to be open-minded to the possibilities that your simple white (or brown) rice is capable of. Each day of the week you can switch your rice recipe to make fried rice (Chinese), sushi (Japanese), rice cakes in banana leaf (Vietnamese), or even jambalaya (American). The possibilities of transforming your next meal are endless and only a click away.

Choosing the Right Instructions
Before searching for the perfect recipe, it is important to know what kind of learner you are. Are you a kinesthetic learner, visual learner, auditory learner, or a reader? If you don’t know take a quiz at the Education Planner and find out! Once you know what kind of learner you are, you can choose a website that offers cooking instructions that are right for you. Finding the perfect recipe can come in many forms on the internet. Some websites will have written instructions, others many include images to elaborate on the steps, and some may be how-to videos in making a decadent meal.

Take these two links for example:

1. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/146000/lime-cilantro-rice/
2. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=duycXmCBXd0

The first link offers written instructions on how to make Lime Cilantro Rice with a list of ingredients before the instructions, no step-by-step images provided. The second link is a YouTube video made of clips throughout the cooking process of the Cilantro Lime Rice. In the Youtube video the audio does not offer exact measurements, but they are provided in the information box below the video. As mentioned in the Universal Usability Guidelines in the Web Style Guide, 3rd edition, web pages are created in consideration of internet user abilities. However, each internet user should decide which type of instructions are best for them depending on their learning style.

Expanding Your Horizons
Take a brief moment to think back to all the ways you have cooked your rice in the past. If you can only think of one recipe, that is not enough! Similar to flour and eggs, rice can be found in almost any household. Have you ever heard of a southern bell cooking fried rice? Could you image a Japanese person making jambalaya? The idea may not be as farfetched as once imagined. With the internet allowing us to reach into every corner of the virtual world, we can use our new found knowledge to learn about other cultures through cooking.

If you are curious as to what else your rice can create, check out Rice Gourmet. This site offers recipes ranging from 5 continents and 21 countries, all unique in their own way! In my opinion it would come out easier and cheaper to try a new recipe at home than having to go to a Mexican restaurant, Italian restaurant, Indian restaurant for meals that have rice. What is even better is that you can also share and impress friends, family or fellow employers with a delicious home-cooked meal that you learned how to make on the internet.

Next time that you are in your kitchen, preparing for lunch or dinner, think twice and consider the possibilities that already accessible ingredients can make by doing a quick search on the web for an easy and deliciously new recipe. All your ingredients, not only rice, teach you about other cultures through methods and additional ingredients used.


10 thoughts on “Rice Around the World

  1. An interesting look at how the internet can be used to keep databases on useful information (in this case, various recipes using rice), which can be shared and compiled for immediate reference in lieu of tracking down physical documents. I can still remember (and actually sometimes miss) having to check out books for writing assignments in the 1990s when I was in grade school, with the internet still being somewhat of an technological oddity at the time.

    While I don’t have much knowledge of cooking (I certainly *enjoy* cooking, but have embarrassingly little-to-no experience with the actual practice), I’m reminded of VGMdb, a database of game and anime soundtracks which can be seen here: http://vgmdb.net/db/main.php. It has a very large, and very detailed, catalog of official (and even unofficial) music releases that allows users to add and edit album information, somewhat like how the rice recipes are being shared/archived.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought it was really neat to think about the different ways I learn: “kinesthetic learner, visual learner, auditory learner, or a reader.” I realize now that I unconsciously seek out the best method depending on the task at hand, but usually I prefer visuals. I wonder if that’s true for everyone, or just some people… To know what method is best for instructing people would likely be useful in technical writing!

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  3. I didn’t think about how I could gravitate toward a website by not only how user-friendly it is but by whether or not I am a kinesthetic or a visual learner. I know how important user-centered design is and the benefits to creating a website that is error-tolerant and easy-to-use, as well as efficient. I seek visuals and simple instructions, which are some techniques that website designers employ while creating user-friendly websites. Color psychology is also important as it helps create a highly memorable and engaging website by evoking pathos within a user-http://thenextweb.com/dd/2015/04/07/how-to-create-the-right-emotions-with-color-in-web-design/.

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  4. I can relate to what you have written in this blog article. I dearly love hard-copy books and cookbooks, in general, but I can’t afford the space to collect any more of them. Plus, I never look at or cook recipes from them anymore; it is so much easier to look it up in a recipe file on my computer or to look on my “Recipes I Will Never Have Time to Try” Pinterest board.

    Another reason I like electronic recipes is that I can collect as many recipes as catch my eye. Also, I love the specificity I have with electronic recipes; I don’t have to buy a cookbook that will most likely contain too many recipes I am not interested in trying. I like that when I save them, I can actually remember where the recipe is the next time I want to cook it, too. I also find it great that I can alter or take notes about a recipe easily.

    I love to eat food from different cultures and it was important to me to pass that love along to my daughter as she was growing up (—and also to teach her how to cook so she would not eat garbage out of a bag her whole life!). We would get excited as we planned our meal and shopped for the ingredients for an exotic dish. We had the best time cooking and sharing facts we knew or had looked up about the culture of the people that ate this dish or talked about everything from the caloric count to the vitamin content or history of a certain food.

    Our extreme splurge—usually reserved for celebrations or to lift a particularly long period of the doldrums from life getting chaotic—was to raid the exotic cheese aisle at Whole Foods or Kroger. We would buy a few wedges of some pretty expensive varieties that we had never tried and then go home and learn about how it was made, who regularly ate it, what to serve it with, how to eat it, etc. We still do that occasionally and what great times those are. Useful, too; no hoity-toity party can stop us from devouring the cheese tray with confidence and class! Lol!

    Your comments on the availability of white and brown rice are intriguing. I have had the thoughts once or twice as to whether there was a food that everyone on earth cooked and what foreign foods folks around the world liked/cooked, but I never looked it up, so you have answered those questions for me. (I had always guessed some form of flour.) Rice is quite versatile, as you point out, and it is also fairly inexpensive to buy. Both are great reasons to eat more rice, but I don’t need a reason—rice is simply a delicious dish no matter how it is cooked.

    I have a friend who never looks at or collects a recipe unless it is in video form. I thought this was unusual until you pointed out that she can probably follow the recipe better that way. Last month, she made a “birthday cake” for her daughter’s party that was actually pizza ingredients stacked up just so and baked to look like a cake. I wasn’t there when she assembled it, but I watched the video with her beforehand. It was not a difficult process, but I don’t think I (who can follow a recipe in most forms) would have been able to make that particular “cake” without seeing it demonstrated, either!

    I flipped the thought around and wondered how one would write instructions for it that were simple, clear, and as easy to follow as the visuals provided in the video. It would probably look like so much to do that someone would really, really have to want to make that recipe or be a very confident cook to look at all those words and not perceive the task as too hard and immediately pass it up. I have done that a lot: Nope. Not that one. TL;DR. Kind of like this post.


    1. Thank you for sharing about the tradition you shared with your daughter of shopping for, cooking and trying different foods. I didn’t cook anything outside of Mexican food with my mom, but once my family started expanding our meals began to include Mexican food, Colombian food, American, Italian, and several other things.
      I hope it is something I get to pass on to my own children when in the future. And I am glad you enjoyed my post 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I think you are curious enough and passionate enough about multicultural experiences that you will pass traditions on to your kids and start new ones, too!

        I must have edited out a sentence that I originally had in the para graph about our cooking ventures. It really added to the point of that detail is why I bring it up now. When I wrote that, I was thinking about how early in Hb’s life we would pick a time to drag out a few cookbooks to scour for menu ideas and, usually, we would go to the library and check out some additional info on the culture.

        As the years have gone by, though, we have gradually moved to using the internet almost exclusively. We have accumulated a vast file of recipes on the computer and scores more on Pinterest (that’s mostly me). We get together and pick out a few dinners to cook while she is home from school. She attended a very diverse HS and is now at a collage that represents about 50 different cultures, so she always has some little hint or recipe from other cultures and the cafeteria serves lots of different foods. Her senior year roommate was fresh off the airplane from Taiwan. Her English name was Joyce and she shared some great recipes with Hb and even cooked her a few easy dishes in the dorm hall kitchenette.

        Hb is a good cook, too. For example, I never was good at Asian food, but she always loved it, so I would try my hand at it. Now, I still can’t cook it well, but her Asian food is so delicious.

        I started teaching her when she was in elementary school, so we started out cooking really easy soups. We have two that we still, 10 or 11 years later, have every time the weather starts getting cold. One of them is has an Italian flare with spinach and it prominently features rice, too.


  5. What a fascinating look at the way we think about cooking. I love cooking, and I’ve always read cookbooks, but I never make anything from it until I’ve read the entire thing (which was interesting when I read Mastering the Art of French Cooking). I really like the idea of finding various recipes online and switching up classic dishes in order to add variety. Rice is a good example of an ingredient that one can use to make lots of different things.

    The videos, I’ve found, unfortunately, don’t work as well for me. I think it has to do with timing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely love your comparison to the many ways to cook rice to the many ways we learn. This is such a great post!! I am a huge jambalaya fan but would love to learn to make sushi, not sure what that says about my learning style but I hope it’s good!

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  7. Everything I’ve learned about cooking, I learned through trial and error. This isn’t the most practical way of cooking, but I hate sticking to recipes if I don’t know what makes them work! I think this works with the learning styles that you frame your article with–in reflecting on this, I realized this trial and error method is how I learned to code, too.

    I love your conclusion — that we should take advantage of the endless variety at our disposal to jazz up something as basic as a bowl of rice. Can’t wait to try the recipes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Geoffrey, I always make a recipe that I have never tried the exact way the recipe calls for. That way I know what the flavors, textures, chem reactions, and all do together. If I don’t like something about it, the next time I cook it, I can change it up.

      I admit this has resulted in the occasional huge pan of something I didn’t care to eat the first time around, much less for leftovers. I hate to waste food, so it has to be particularly bad for me not to just get through it. Sometimes I can heavily salt and pepper it or otherwise modify it so it is bearable.

      Thankfully, that is not something that happens too often and most things turn out delicious. I have learned over time how to read the recipe while really thinking about the combination of ingredients as I read them and the method of cooking. Usually I can tell if I will like what I visualize so I can pass the recipe up if I don’t think I can modify it.

      I think @expena was so right about applying different learning styles to cooking. Like I said, my normal rule of thumb is to make it the way it the way it says, but I have also learned that if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of oregano or cilantro, I will like it with 1/2 that, so I will go ahead and tinker with the recipe beforehand in that respect. I dislike garbanzo beans/chick peas intensely, so I will automatically substitute white great northern beans or something.

      I think you hit the nail on the head in comparing coding with cooking. Both processes involve trial and error and that intuition and confidence that only comes from doing it a few times so you know what to expect.


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