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Edible Archives Project Aims To Revive Hundreds Of Vanishing Indian Rice Strains

As hybrid varieties gained popularity, hundreds of indigenous strains of rice — and knowledge about them — disappeared. But chefs, farmers and researchers are trying to reconnect to that heritage.
Some of the 20 different types of rice used during the three-month festival Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India. Chefs served two varieties of rice every day, along with multiple dishes of vegetables and meat or seafood. Source: Salam Olattayil

Chef Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar fondly remembers her father's love for rice — and his insistence on having specific kinds of rice — with each special meat or fish dish cooked in their kitchen.

She even has memories of him making long road trips from their home in Kolkata, India, to other parts of the state of West Bengal to buy local rice. What motivated him, she says, was not just his interest in food but also nostalgia for his childhood.

Edible Archives was born partly from this recollection, with chef Anurima Ghosh Dastidar as curator, along with chef Prima Kurien and two food writers who were also invited to cook.

India is known

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