If you’re interested in understanding more about Asian cuisine, you probably already know that rice plays a significant role in it. In fact, you probably also see all kinds of rice from Asian dishes. You can have rice steamed or fried or even make it into noodles. Almost anything can be made from or has rice in it. So, you may ask:
Why do Asians eat rice? Asians eat rice because it’s the most prominent crop in their countries. The rice serves as a vehicle for the main dish. The simple and neutral flavor of the rice balances out any intense flavor provided by the main meal. That is the reason why it pairs so well with dishes that have a rich, savory taste.
Asian cuisine is interesting in the way that rice is one of the staples and often consumed. In fact, all over the world, Asian countries produce and consume around 90% of the total rice production. It may beg your curiosity to know why, and that’s what we’ll answer below.
In this article, you’ll read all the things you need to know about Asians and why they consume rice in most of their dishes. This way, you can learn a bit more about their culture and diet and see why rice is one of the essential parts of their meals.
Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
Why do Asians prefer rice?
Asians prefer rice simply because they produce it, and it’s available mainly throughout Asian countries.
Still, it’s the plain and neutral taste of rice that makes it blend with the dishes. Such a character gives the food more quantity while also balancing the flavor of any dish.
The rice only serves as a vehicle for the main course. The simple and neutral flavor of the rice balances out any flavor provided by the main meal. That is why it goes well with dishes that have a strong taste or are savory.
For Asians, rice is an important meal. It is because it grows in a range of countries across the continent.
Rice is grown in China, India, and neighboring countries that were once part of India. As a result, it is natural for Asians to like rice; it is also flexible in various meals. In addition, it absorbs the tastes of other ingredients, resulting in unusual cuisines.
Do most Asians eat rice?
Yes, most Asians eat rice, but not everyone treats it as the central part of their diet. The thing is that rice may form an essential part of their diet. However, the tradition and character of rice make them a staple in most Asian countries.
In general, most Asian countries eat rice because 90% of rice production comes from Asian countries. Also, the same percentage goes to Asia for rice consumption.
In which Asian countries is rice most popular?
If you want to know where rice is most prevalent in Asia, then the top three would be China, India, and Indonesia. Rice is among the world’s most commonly eaten food.
China, the world’s most populous country, also eats the most rice, with 149 million metric tons in 2020/2021. India comes second behind China, with 106.5 million metric tons of rice consumed over the same time frame.
What rice do Asians usually eat?
When it comes to the most popular rice, Asians usually eat two, Indica and Japonica rice.
Chinese folks will boil these two types of rice together and then eat them with other Chinese meals. But, in reality, the look of these two types of rice is distinguishable.
As mentioned earlier, Asians enjoy rice because they grow it, and it is widely available across Asia. Still, the bland and neutral flavor of rice allows it to merge with the foods.
Such a feature increases the quantity of food while also balancing the flavor of any meal. The rice is just a conveyance for the main meal.
The rice’s plain and neutral flavor balances out any intense flavors offered by the main course. It’s why it goes well with foods with a strong flavor or that are savory.
Rice is a staple food for Asians. It is because it grows in a variety of nations across the continent.
How much rice does the average Asian eat in a year?
Rice production and consumption in Asia are the highest in the world. In general, around 90% of rice is produced and consumed only in Asian countries. Let’s look at some of the most prominent countries in Asia and see how much rice they consume in a year.
China has a population of around 1.4 billion, almost all of whom consume rice daily. Thus, rice consumption per capita is projected to be 221 pounds per year. It is about ten times that of the United States and among the highest in the world.
China, the world’s most populous country, also consumes the most rice, with 149 million metric tons eaten in 2020/2021. India is ranked second behind China, with 106.5 million metric tons of rice consumed over the same period.
In 2019, Japan’s annual consumption volume of rice as a primary food was roughly 51 kilos per person, a decade low. Although rice is among the most significant grains eaten in Japan, consumption has been progressively declining over the years as Western meals based on wheat flour have gained popularity as main dishes.
According to statistics data from Korea, the estimated yearly rice intake per person was 61 kilograms last year, down from 61.8 kilos in 2017. Rice is a staple meal for Koreans. However, consumption has been declining since 1980 when it peaked at 132.7 kg per person.
Rice among the most popular grains in the United States, with Americans eating around five million metric tons of rice in the past year. Still, despite the popularity, Americans only consume around 10% of the total rice consumed by China.
Combining all Asian countries in their rice consumption will make up 90% of its rice consumption and production. However, it means the rest of the world only consumes around 10% of the total rice produced.
Related: Why Do Asians Eat With Chopsticks?
In a nutshell, Asians consume rice because it is the most crucial crop in their respective countries. The rice acts as a conveyance for the main course. The rice’s plain and neutral flavor balances out any intense flavors offered by the main course. It’s why it goes so well with foods with a rich, savory flavor.
Asian food is unique in that rice is a staple that is widely consumed. In reality, Asian countries produce and consume over 90 percent of the world’s rice crop. Thus, the largest consumer of rice, China, has over ten times more than the average consumption of the US.
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