Rice are one the three main staple crops of Scarterra. The other two being wheat and potatoes.
Acre per acre, rice is the most productive crop in Scarterra but it requires specific conditions. Rice requires a relatively warm growing season and plenty of water. This requires either rivers with a predictable flood cycle or an organized workforce that can simulate this.
"There are some areas by Korus' grace that have natural cycles conducive to growing wild rice, but usually rice paddies needs to be artificially flooded and drained at specific times, so rice farming requires a very organized workforce. That why the Elven Empire is able to grow so much rice as we have the most efficient beuaracracy in all of Scarterra. The human nations in Umera are fairly organized too and they also produce a lot of rice. Umera used to be a colony of the Empire. The humans there will not admit but they owe their political stability and their efficient crop production due to the lessons we taught them. I have sailed far enough to circumnavigate around Scarterra thrice. I've noticed that rice farming has yet to catch on in the more unstable human lands that had minimal contact with the Empire. They can stick with their potatoes" -Almon Genmaer, grey elf sailor.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Rice dishes can be prepared in hundreds of ways, depending on the spices, oils, vegetables, and meats it is served with. Rice can be made into noodles or flour. Rice can be fermented into wine.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Rice is the staple grain of the continent of Umera, several islands in the Elven Empire, territory, some of the southern most lands of West Colassia and parts of the warm interior of East Colassia near the larger rivers. Rice is cultivated in a few of the northern islands of Penarchia but rice is pretty rare on the continent as a whole. Every attempt to grow rice on the Island of Khemarok has failed to be worthwhile.
Civilization and Culture
Whether or not rice was cultivated in the the First Age remains a subject of debate, but historical records are very clear that rice was widely cultivated during the the Second Age throughout Scarterra as many surviving documents include ledgers of granaries. In the Second Age, rice was cultivated on almost every landmass with the climate and water permitting it. Modern elves still cultivate rice, at least grey elves do as rice frequently graces the plates of peasants and princes a like Elven Empire, territory. Wood elves and dark elves are not opposed to rice cultivation and they admit their ancestors ate rice but their current lands are not very conducive to rice cultivation. It's not clear whether spirits, elves, or human experimentation led to early rice cultivation the Third Age, but rice cultivation began among humans in Penarchia very early in the Red Era and rice cultivation never stopped on Island of Lunatus even during the Second Unmaking but rice cultivation did not spread extensively to other lands until the Feudal Era.