There are many rice varieties in Italy. Let’s find out more about Italian rice and sensory analysis of rice
How many rice varieties exist? In Italy? And in the world? The starting point is undoubtably to learn more about the two main rice varieties, indica and japonica rice: the first one with a long grain feeds a good part of the world population, the second with a round grain is the one we use to make “risotto”.
But only in Italy we have more than 150 registered rice varieties! You can learn more about them with an experience of sensory analysis of rice.
We are in Nibbiola, among the rice fields of the Low Novarese area. Entering IRES (Italian Rice Experiment Station) is taking a leap into the heart of Italian agronomic science. Here researchers and experts in the field are involved in selecting new rice varieties, according to the needs of farmers, market and cooks.
The landscapeis full of greenhouses and fields of varietal research and hybridization, with different colours according to the seasons. The end of summer and autumn are certainly the moments when differences between rice varieties are more evident, because plants are growing and cobs are maturing: the varietal fields are therefore squares of different colour and shapes!
The experience of sensory analysis
The activity of Acquaverderiso is based on the experience of IRES agronomists and a specific method of sensory analysis.
The panel of rice sommeliers (this is the name of the group that passed the course and the exam as a sensory analysis judge) is able to do tests to identify the qualities, classification tests and descriptive tests, with approaches that are deeply technical.
But while having meetings with the public, the approach becomes very popular and helps visitors to understand the varieties, characteristics and even the defects of rice.
They never miss a tasting…
Often it is the rice sommelier who, as a technician, becomes an experimenter in the kitchen.
After having tasted the same rice variety from different producers (sensory analysis is also done on boiled rice), they create fantastic recipes and daring combinations.
An example is Gerardo De Santo’s risotto, aka GJ Desa, with Carnaroli organic Lomellina rice with gorgonzola cheese, mascarpone cheese, blueberry gel and toasted hazelnuts PGI from Alba. The right conclusion to a rice experience like this!
Did you like the article? Book your experience with the Expert Giulia and learn more about the fascinating world of Italian rice!
Giulia is a licensed tourist guide for the provinces of Vercelli, Novara and Pavia. You will discover many rice varieties such as Carnaroli and Nero Artemide, a very fragrant cross between Nero Venere and Basmati. You will be engaged in cooking classes on rice and panissa, in the harvest of blueberries and berries. You will enter the world of the Sensory Analysis of Rice with Sommeliers of this cereal.