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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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7571. RICE, Italian.—[further continued] .
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7571. RICE, Italian.—[further continued] .

Having observed that
the consumption of rice in this country
[France], and particularly in this capital
[Paris], was very great, I thought it my duty
to inform myself from what markets they draw
their supplies. * * * [I found] that the
dealers in Paris were in the habit of selling
two qualities of rice, that of Carolina, with
which they were supplied chiefly from England,
and that of Piedmont; that the Carolina rice
was long, slender, white and transparent, answers
well when prepared with milk, sugar, &c.,
but not so well when prepared au gras; that
that of Piedmont was shorter, thicker, and less
white; but that it presented its form better
when dressed au gras, was better tasted, and,
therefore, preferred by good judges for those
purposes. * * * [The dealers] supposed
this difference of quality to proceed from a difference
of management; that the Carolina rice
was husked with an instrument that broke it
more, and that less pains were taken to separate
the broken from the unbroken grains, imagining
that it was the broken grains which dissolved
in oily preparations. * * * The objection
to the Carolina rice, then, being that it
crumbles in certain forms of preparation, and
this supposed to be the effect of a less perfect
machine for husking, I flattered myself I should
be able to learn what might be the machine of
Piedmont, when I should arrive at Marseilles.
* * * At Marseilles, however, they differed
as much in account of the machines, as at Paris
they had differed about other circumstances.
Some said it was husked between mill-stones,
others between rubbers of wood in the form of
mill-stones, others of cork. They concurred
in one fact, however, that the machine might
be seen by me immediately on crossing the
Alps. This would be an affair of three weeks.
I crossed them and went through the rice
country from Vercelli to Pavia, about sixty
miles. I found the machine to be absolutely the
same with that used in Carolina. * * * In
some of them, indeed, they arm each pestle with
an iron tooth, consisting of nine spikes hooked
together, which I do not remember in the description
[of the machine] of Mr. Rutledge. i,
therefore, had a tooth made, which I forward
you; observing, at the same time, that as many
of their machines are without teeth as with


Page 779
them, and of course, that the advantage is not
very palpable. It seems to follow, then, that
the rice of Lombardy (for though called Piedmont
rice, it does not grow in that country, but
in Lombardy) is of a different species from that
of Carolina; different in form, in color and in
To William Drayton. Washington ed. ii, 194.
(P. 1787)