Rice and beans

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Rice and brown beans, as served in a hotel in the southeast Brazilian countryside. The dish may be accompanied by meat, bread, eggs, vegetables, etc.

Rice and beans are a staple food in many cultures around the world. It provides several important nutrients, and is widely available.

Known as[edit]

Enchiladas, with Mexican rice and beans

Rice and beans is referred to as arroz y habas, arroz con habichuelas, arroz con frijoles, gallo pinto, recalentao or similar in Spanish, arroz e feijão, arroz com feijão or feijão com arroz in Portuguese, diri ak pwa in Haitian Creole, avas kon arroz or avikas kon arroz in Judaeo-Spanish.

Description[edit]

Kidney beans and rice

The dish usually consists of white or brown rice accompanied by brown, red or black, dry beans (typically Phaseolus vulgaris or Vigna unguiculata) and seasoned in various ways. Different regions have different preferences. In Brazil, for example, black beans are more popular in Paraná, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, while in most other parts of the country these are mostly only used in feijoadas. The New Orleans specialty known as "red beans and rice" is often accompanied by a side of smoked sausage or a fried pork chop.

In many areas, rice and beans are often served side by side rather than mixed. Either way, they may be considered a meal, frequently with a topping of meat or chicken. Meat or other ingredients are sometimes placed atop rice and beans or (less often) mixed into it.

This dish is also commonly served with sides of stewed chicken, pork, beef, potato salad, boiled potatoes, and many other sides from many different cultures.

History[edit]

The Americas[edit]

Genetic analyses of the common bean Phaseolus shows that it originated in MesoAmerica, and subsequently spread southward, along with maize and squash, traditional companion crops.[1] Asian rice was introduced to Mexico and Brazil during the colonial era by the Spanish and the Portuguese. However, it has recently been discovered that the indigenous peoples of the Amazon had already cultivated a distant relative of Asian rice of the same genus Oryza some 4,000 years ago[2], and were growing it alongside maize and squash, traditional companion crops of beans, which were also by that time present in South America. Some recent scholarship suggests that enslaved Africans may also have played an active role in the establishment of rice in the New World.[3][4]

Nutritional significance[edit]

Rice and beans is very nutritious. Rice is rich in starch, an excellent source of energy. Rice also has iron and some protein. Beans also contain a good amount of iron and a greater amount of protein than rice.[5] Together they make up a complete protein,[6] which provides each of the amino acids the body cannot make for itself.

In addition, rice and beans are common and affordable ingredients, often available in difficult economic times.

Culture[edit]

In Brazil and many other Latin American states and countries, rice and beans are commonly eaten as everyday lunch, along with a different variety of meats and vegetables. It is also common to prepare dinner using the lunch leftovers. Brazil is the world's third largest producer of dry beans and American leader in rice consumption.[citation needed]

Dishes[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

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