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Raw white rice in wooden dishes

Rice. It goes into a hundred different dishes, from soups to stuffed vegetables to rizogalo and a wide array of pilafi, but until the 1960s, rice was very expensive, and many of these same recipes called for pligouri or trachanas; in poor places people even used dried corn.

Although it was rare, rice has been known in Greece ever since Alexander the Great'sarmy brought back the first grains from India. After the Second World War, thanks to the Marshall Plan, rice growing was introduced in the Sperchios River delta in Central Greece, although nowadays much of the 290,000 tonnes of short, medium and long grain rice produced by Greece is produced in the enormous wetlands around Thessaloniki. Because it's a relatively recent crop and grows close to the sea, Greek rice has little of the residual pesticides (like arsenic) of other rices

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Marco Verch Professional Photographer and Speaker