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Eight Surprising Facts About European Rice

Eight Surprising Facts About European Rice. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing a press release on eight surprising facts about European Rice. Did you know that Rice is grown extensively in Europe, and the continent produces so much Rice that it is a net crop exporter? Despite the vast quantities grown within Europe, it’s not a place most people think of when considering what Rice to buy. So, here are some fascinating facts about European Rice, a tasty ingredient with more comprehensive benefits. When we think of Rice, our minds almost certainly turn towards Asia, but Rice is also grown in Europe.

Eight Surprising Facts About European Rice

A Long History

Rice was first introduced to Europe by the naturalists who followed Alexander the Great on expeditions well over two thousand years ago.

European Rice Is Grown In Greece

Better known for its rich culture, history and beautiful beaches, Greece might not seem like a prominent place for growing Rice. However, the systematic cultivation of Rice in Greece began in the 1950s, and Greek Rice has a dynamic presence in both the domestic market and abroad.

In 1949, the year marking the end of the fratricidal civil war, hope was offered to the beleaguered agricultural population in Greece by the Experimental Works in Macedonia Service (EWMS) in collaboration with the American Economic Mission in Greece. They chose the area of Chalastra to establish a trial rice cultivation, aiming to improve the saline soil in the estuaries of river Axios. The experiment was a huge success leading.

European Rice flourishes in extremely wet conditions and mild temperatures. The conditions prevailing in the region, such as the salty soil and warm climate, are ideal for attaining high yields and excellent product quality. So, rice production is still thriving in the area decades later.

There is a European strategy for Rice product processes, compliant with the Integrated Crop Management System for Rice, applied by producers for the European Rice grown in Greece. This system rests on agricultural practices that respect the environment, protect the health of the producer-cultivator, and offer a safe product to consumers.

High Standards Are Set For European Rice

European Rice is distinguished for its quality and nutritional value. This is due to high-quality standards being applied to production methods. This results in a quality product, free from plant protection products (like chemical pesticides and herbicides) and other heavy metals which are detrimental to human health.

It Is Super Environmentally-Friendly

Of course, a European country importing European Rice means it has a lower carbon footprint, but there is so much more to the eco-credentials than you might think.

For example, precision agriculture is rising concerning growing European Rice. This farming management concept is compatible with the ecological approach measures stipulated in the new, reformed Common Agricultural Policy. Its goal is to further improve the quality and yield, simultaneously reduce soil and underground water pollution, and mitigate broader environmental impacts.

It’s Great For Biodiversity

Rice cultivations expand freshwater habitats in the region, principally during summer, and the rice paddies function as artificial seasonal wetlands, complementing the natural ecosystem. During May, rice paddies are flooded with water and ready for rice seeds. The flooded fields are filled with tiny spineless organisms and amphibians, attracting many birds, such as little egrets, black-crowned night herons, ibises, seagulls and other birds, looking for food for themselves and their hatchlings.

It Is An Export Product

Naturally, part of the rice crop from Greece is sold within the domestic market. The rest is exported to other countries in Europe and the Middle East.

There Are Two Varieties Of European Rice

The traditional variety of European Rice is Japonica. This is a rounder, thicker-grained Rice, which is also more ‘sticky’, making it a popular choice for risotto, paella and sushi dishes. Japonica accounts for around 75% of European production.

The Indica variety, with its characteristic longer grain, accounts for the remaining 25% of total production. Indica is fluffy when cooked and, among other things, is excellent in rice puddings.

Now you know much more about European Rice, so the only thing remaining is to try it…

I hope you enjoyed that.

Talk soon.


European Rice is a high-quality rice grown in Greece since the 1950s. There are two varieties: Indica Rice (prolonged rain) and Japonica Rice (medium grain). European Rice has a high nutritional value and is rich in B vitamins, such as Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin and Selenium. The EU is both self-sufficient and a net exporter of Japonica rice. All European Rice complies with the Integrated Quality Management System for the Agricultural Production of Rice, based on good agricultural practices that respect the environment, protect the producer-grower’s health, and offer a healthy and safe product for consumers. For more information see:

Disclaimer: Funded by the European Union. However, the views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible.

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  • Kimberley Asante

    I found your article on European rice quite intriguing! It’s fascinating to learn about the lesser-known facts surrounding such a staple food item. From its history and cultivation methods to its nutritional value and culinary versatility, you’ve covered a wide range of interesting points. As someone who appreciates learning about different cultures and their culinary traditions, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your insights. Your article has inspired me to explore European rice varieties and incorporate them into my cooking repertoire. Thanks for sharing these surprising facts and shedding light on the importance of this often-overlooked ingredient!

  • Nikki Wayne

    Wow! I am amazed that they are producing nutritional rice because there are a lot of rice today tat has no nutritional value. This is very informative, I like it.

  • Beth

    I had no idea rice paddies promoted so much biodiversity! That’s really amazing that it gives so many animals a place to eat and thrive while we grow food at the same time.

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