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Of all the cereals the first that is sown is barley. We shall state the appropriate time for sowing each kind when we come to treat of the nature of each individually. In India, there is both a cultivated and a wild1 barley, from which they make excellent bread, as well as alica.2 But the most favourite food of all there is rice,3 from which they prepare a ptisan4 similar to that made from barley in other parts of the world. The leaves of rice are fleshy,5 very like those of the leek, but broader; the stem is a cubit in height, the blossom purple, and the root globular, like a pearl in shape.6

1 There is no wild barley in India at the present day.

2 Porridge, or fermenty.

3 Oryza sativa of Linnæus.

4 Like our rice-milk, probably. See B. xxii. c. 26.

5 They are not carnose or fleshy, but thin, and similar to those of the reed.

6 On the contrary, it is tough and fibrous.

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