Mi, Sihai Wheat, Flood Grain|
Rice is a staple of the Sihai diet that expanded outside of its homeland of Sheng centuries ago as the Sihai moved to Zhong and beyond. From this expansion, the easily morphed grain adapted to different regions and techniques, producing three distinct varieties and a number of sub variants as well. To produce Rice, grand communal agricultural projects bring together many resources to irrigate or flood the patties of earth most commonly used to grow the crop. Once processed, Rice is used in many culinary capacities, whether sweet, salty, or spicy, and it is likely this will only grow in time as western interest in the east only grows.
Rice has been a key crop to Sihai for millennia. While no accurate information exists of when it was first cultivated, ancient Sihai songs serenade the ear with the story of Suhun, the supposed first to tame the wild Rice that once grew in the swamps of Sheng. Some believe she was the first Empress of the Sheng Empire, or an ancient queen that became the first Empress. Regardless, from the earliest years of the Sihai Race, Rice powered their livelihoods and was the building block for everything that came later in their society. However, as Rice grew in importance and spread into fields and farms rather than just swamps and fens, it also caught the eye of what few foreigners came to Sihai lands. From this contact, the grain took the first jump beyond the expanse of The Far East. The plant proved highly adaptable, and later when the Altalar came and left as well, the grain was carried to lands such as Daen. Rice today exists in several varieties and makes up a common part of the diets of no longer just the Sihai, but also the Songaskians along with other migrants to the westernmost areas of Zhong and the deserts of Farah’deen.
Rice grows anywhere between three and six feet tall, and generally has a small cluster of light green or yellow-green stalks at its base that rapidly alter into a deep green as it extends. At the end of each stalk is a cluster of yellow-white grains, the Rice itself, but small dull purple flowers also grow to allow the wind to pollinate this species of plant. The plant also has an array of long, narrow leaves up to three feet long with a pointed end. However, further varieties of Rice are based on regional variations, which are described below.
- Sihai Rice: Also known as Eastern Rice, Sihai Rice is the standard type of Rice with the qualities as described above. It grows densely in Zhong and has been exported elsewhere in small numbers, often being grown in and around Sihai enclaves in wider Aloria.
- Farah Rice: Farah Rice is the variety of the crop grown on Farah’deen, cultivated primarily by the Songaskians. It is much more durable, pest and pestilence resistant than Sihai Rice, with a distinct, slightly nutty, flavor. It also commonly has brown or brown-red grains rather than white grains, though extensive cleaning processes can still produce the blanched coloration known in most other Rice types.
- Western Rice: Western Rice, sometimes called Elf Rice or Vasma Rice by Ailor, is the variety of the grain developed by the Altalar who returned from Zhong and Sheng. However, it was Suvial agricultural experts who fully grasped and crafted the modern grain as it is known today. Existing in several colors, Western Rice is best characterized by its length, which often reaches double that of Sihai Rice.
Uses and Abilities
Rice has a singular use: cuisine. Rice can be turned into flour, be cooked with water to puff and used in various dishes, while the various different types can be used in a savory, sweet, or side capacity. Rice can also have different consistencies based on the variety as well as preparation or hulling and cleaning methods, with sticky rice being perhaps the best known of these options.
- Rice is the most common export between Zhong and Farah’deen, the different varieties of the two regions easily finding markets. Western Rice, conversely, is only sparingly traded with each region due to its heavy association with the Altalar and their slave-operated agriculture.
- The term “rice kingdoms” has sometimes been used by Ailor scholars to discuss the ancient, long faded nations of Sheng now lost to the passage of time. They suggest that much in the same way Ailor petty kings controlled how well their subjects would be protected from Altalar raids based on what they were given, early Sihai kings controlled the storage of Rice and thus decided who would live or die based on contributions. Many Sihai are offended by this concept.
FireFan96, BillyTheScruffy, MantaRey||
HydraLana on 05/13/2022.|
» Read more