The Alto Piemonte, besides describing a rich geography of food and wine products and long-standing traditions never interrupted, can also be a land of rediscovery. In the first half of the twentieth century, in the highlands of the region, the land represented the main wealth and mean of sustenance, offering a vast collection of productions that have been lost in time but have survived in the mind of the local families here. Nonetheless, when the engine of a project is a memory, to return to the table is not just a food, it is not just a taste, but a real fairy tale starting with “Once upon a time”. This is the story of the Italian rice Razza77.
“For years we have kept a special memory: the image of the Razza77 put to dry on the farmyard by his grandfather and hand-selected by his grandmother before cooking”.
Vespolate – where the legend was born
It almost seems to be there, children who have tasted the moments of watering before the risotto, reading the vivid memory of the Rizzotti Family of Vespolate (NO), advocate and protagonist of one of the most incredible stories of recovery of the excellence of the past – the Razza77 rice.
At the turn of the thirties and forties of the last century, it was common to meet this exceptional product on Sunday’s farmers’ tables. A tradition perpetrated until the seventies, during which the Razza77 gradually reached oblivion. A rather contained yield, the predisposition for fungal diseases and the tendency to the settling of the heavy panicle have decreed the abandonment of the crop, in a general adoption, in the national territory, of highly productive cultivations, even if not always of good quality.
Forgotten but rediscovered
This agricultural policy led to the extinction of various excellences that constituted landscape, conviviality, tradition and culinary culture in the period at the turn of the Second World War. In addition to filling a historic-landscape gap in the territory of Bassa Novarese, the area dotted with the municipalities of Garbagna, Nibbiola, Vespolate, Borgolavezzaro, Terdobbiate and Tornaco, the Razza77 project aims to bring to the tables the ancient taste of creamy and rustic risottos that have for decades lived on the agricultural tables between Vercelli and Novara.
Organoleptic properties that border and in some cases exceed those of the well-known Carnaroli, added to a very low dispersion of nutrients in cooking, have pushed the Rizzotti family to recover this product.
In 2014 in Tornaco the first seeding on 500 square meters of land, obtained thanks to a sample provided by the Experimental Institute for Italian Cereallicultura and almost completely managed manually, including the peeling phase. In 2018 the beginning of the re-marketing of Razza77, the new life of an antique product enhanced by a packaging that wants to promote a land and a memory in an innovative and strong way: the colors of the newly planted rice fields, the rounded corner almost to simulate the chipping of the rice grain, the representation of the production area on the back of the pack, almost like a map for this culinary treasure.
Together with the product and the wrapping, they are a souvenir from a glorious past that returns to the table today. Given the season, why not take advantage of the creaminess of Razza77 combining it with pumpkin, spicy Gorgonzola and a pinch of nutmeg? If you are curious to taste a memory, you can find it here.
For more info about the story of this incredible rice, here’s their website: http://www.razza77.it/
Until next time,