Rice is a crucial commodity, particularly for Asia where most of the population is dependent on rice as the basic staple food that is consumed on a daily basis (and usually multiple times per day). It is estimated that more than 90 percent of rice is produced and consumed in Asia. Hence, rice consumption and production in the West is rather insignificant (although rice does have a centuries-long history in the West and thus there also developed specific European rice culinary specialties such as the risotto in Italy or the paella in Spain). Thus, rice-producing Asia is a net exporter of rice to the rest of the world.
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