We need to quickly clarify - this is not a rice that contains gluten! The name of this variety of rice comes from the Latin word glūtinōsus, which means sticky. This is exactly the main characteristic of this type of rice - the ability of the grains to stick together after it has been boiled or stewed. Therefore, rice rich in gluten is also known as sticky, Chinese rice, waxy rice and sweet rice.
Its origin is from Asia - Southeast and East Asia, some parts of India and Bhutan. For this reason, it is widely popular throughout the eastern continent. Its ability to stick together is due to the fact that it contains a very small amount of amylase - only about 1%.
For comparison - long-grain rice's content reaches as much as 23%, due to which its grains remain separated from each other after its preparation. At the same time, glutinous rice contains high levels of amylopectin. It is due to it, that rice is able to stick so strongly.
Glutinous rice is used to prepare many dishes typical of Asian cuisine. Among them are both savory and sweet recipes. As it can also be offered in powder form (ground, in the form of bran), it is also used to make a light breakfast with milk.
Often, when preparing glutenous rice, it is required to soak it beforehand. An interesting detail is that the sticky consistency, by which it is distinguished when it is cooked, makes it especially suitable for consumption with typical Chinese chopsticks.
Varieties of glutinous rice in purple and black color are considered to be extremely beneficial to health according to Chinese medicine. It claims that these subspecies stimulate and improve the blood circulation, which acts prophylactically against cardiovascular disease.
Another product, which is declared medicinal by the Chinese is a special low-alcoholic rice wine made from sticky rice. It is sweet, but low in sugar, contains many amino acids and has a beneficial effect on the gastrointestinal tract.
Other nations also make alcoholic beverages, including rice beer. It is very popular because of its sweet taste and higher alcohol content than other beers.