, 2022-12-30 09:29:03,
Basmati is the most popular specialty rice in the UK, adding extra flavor and subtlety to everything from curries to pilafs to kedgerees. Nearly three-quarters of the world’s basmati is produced in India, and the UK buys 3% of it—plus substantial amounts from the second-largest producer, Pakistan.
All has not been well with this delicious staple, however. A huge number of newly cultivated varieties have been permitted in the UK and EU since 2017, and some have turned out to be sub-standard, lacking the unique popcorn-like fragrance that helps to make this rice so sought after.
New rules are being introduced at the beginning of 2023 that aim to take these lesser varieties of basmati off the market. So will this solve the problem?
Basmati and the code of practice
Basmati rice has been cultivated for thousands of years in the fertile alluvial plains between the Indus and Ganges rivers. To qualify as basmati, grains must meet certain standards related to things like fragrance, grain length and width, as well as cooked texture. They must also have a mid-range level of amylose, a part of the starch in rice.
Fraudsters nevertheless became notorious for cutting basmati with lesser rice grains, drawn by the fact that it is up to 50% more expensive per…
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