Close your eyes and imagine a stretch of verdant and crystal clear rice fields, which change in gold during the summer, where sacred ibis and herons reflect themselves in calm and shimmering waters.

Imagine compact pitch-colored fields that conquer your senses with an unmistakable aroma of soft and vanilla notes. You are still in Alto Piemonte, in the lower Novarese, a land of rice and water; but what dyes black and inebriates its panorama? A jewel. This is the name of the rice produced by a local farm, which has masterfully blended tradition and innovation. And it did it wonderfully, in every sense.

Since 1937 the Aina family, owner of Risi Preziosi of Novara, carries out its activity with a precise mission: the most absolute respect for nature and the territory. A constant research and technological innovation allow it to act according to sustainability standards, implementing techniques that are not widespread, as they are expensive in terms of economy and time, which include crop rotation between corn and rice. By doing so, however, the soil acquires fertility and impoverishment is hindered, without damaging the organisms that live there.

In 2016 the company embarked on a new and completely innovative path, as it is in its spirit, introducing the cultivation of a unique rice of its kind, a precious grain in aesthetics and in its name, as well as in its nutritional profile. In addition to the fascinating color, the Jewel sparkles for the exceptional organoleptic properties: a low glycemic index, due to the integral processing, a very high content of antioxidants and a high supply of vitamins (especially B1 and B2).

Over ten years of careful selection, starting from a small rectangle of land and reaching the current ten hectares, have allowed Risi Preziosi to obtain not only a product with high nutritional qualities but also a prestigious protagonist of kitchens (and tables) of a very high level. A percentage of amylose, the starch polysaccharide, equal to 21.8%, allows the cereal to keep the cooking in an unexceptionable manner and to keep well-shelled and compact once it has been plated. It’s superfluous to highlight how much this characteristic is appreciated from high-end restaurants, still in the continuous research of performing ingredients able to delight and satisfy a more and more demanding consumer, well-informed and immune to the amazement.

In addition to the coloring, even more, intense and lacquered of the Venus rice, the element WOW! of this rice is undoubtedly the fragrance. The Jewel is in fact called “aromatic rice”: not only the sunny fields moved by the wind, not only the raw grain, but also the finished cooking product releases intense floral notes based on vanilla, which result in a delicate flavor in contrast with a firm consistency. Risi Preziosi suggests using this magnificent product as a base for original and special combinations. One above all: mussels and Gorgonzola, joining a bulwark of the Alto Piemonte area, the Gorgonzola, with the salty touch of seafood. For a fresher and summery idea: Gioiello rice in a cold version with crustaceans and a touch of acidity given by some citrus zest. The delicacy of the crustaceans goes well with the strong taste and the vanilla notes of Gioiello, contrasted but at the same time emphasized by the fresh and pungent scent of the fruit.

Riso Gioiello becomes the emerging flag of a territory with an ancient rice tradition, but able to innovate and, like the land of the Aina family, offering consumers more unique and sustainable experiences that can stimulate their creativity.

If you cannot wait to try it, you can find it here.

Until next time,

With love

Marika