Rice used to be the main diet in many countries. It is not eaten raw; usually it is cooked or boiled. In some areas, such as Spain, rice is first fried in olive oil or butter, then cooked with water or soup. In other areas, such as India, rice is eaten with sauce or curry. Rice can also be used to make alcohol, such as Japanese sake.
Rice is believed to have been first grown in ancient southern China and India. Rice growing was brought to Japan possibly in the 1st century BC, and became popular during the 2nd century and the 3rd century. From India, rice spread to southern Europe and Africa.
Rice is usually planted in a flat field filled with water. Before cropping, the water is drained from the field. Before farmers developed a good farming system and fertilizers, they used to let lands rest for 1 to 2 years while farming in other lands.
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