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Ref ID: 22345
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Fuller, Dorian Q.
Castillo, Cristina
Title: Diversification and cultural construction of a crop: the case of glutionous rice and waxy cereals in the food cultures of eastern Asia
Date: 2015
Source: The Oxford handbook of the archaeology of diet
Place of Publication: Oxford
Publisher: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199694013.013.8
Abstract: Rice (<i>Oryza</i>) is one of the worldÂ’s most important and productive staple foods, with highly diverse uses and varieties. We use archaeobotany, culture, history, and ethnobotany to trace the history of the development of sticky (or glutinous) forms. True sticky rice is the result of a genetic mutation that causes a loss of amylose starch but higher amylopectin content. These mutations are unknown in wild populations but have become important amongst cultivars in East and Southeast Asia (unlike other regions). In the same region, other cereals have also evolved parallel mutations that confer stickiness when cooked. This points to a strong role for cultural history and food preparation traditions in the genetic selection and breeding of Asian cereal varieties. The importance of sticky rice in ritual foods and alcoholic beverages in East and Southeast Asia also suggests the entanglement of crop varieties and culturally inherited food traditions and ritual symbolism.
Date Created: 9/26/2016
Editors: Lee-Thorp, Julia
Katzenberg, M. Anne