gazzo, veneto, italia
The Grumolo delle Abbadesse Rice Presidium Producers Association consists of three farming companies engaged in the cultivation and safeguarding of the Vialone Nano Rice, which is historically connected to this Venetian territory half way from Vicenza and Padova.
This precious variety is today endangered, as it is supplanted by other more productive and easy to grow types of rice; with the establishment of the Presidium in 2000, Slow Food decided to support these farmers so that they continue to preserve the quality, historicity and cultivation area of this particular rice. As members of Slow Food, the members of the Association are committed to following precise production rules, aimed not only at protecting the crops but also at protecting the people and the environment involved in the rice-growing process, following the three key words “good, clean and fair “. All the steps, in fact, from cultivation to packaging are meticulously followed to ensure the uniqueness and craftsmanship of the product and thus make it the essential ingredient in the preparation of high quality risottos and other typical Italian dishes.
The commitment of producers is not only characterized by the on-field activity, but also by educational activities that take place in the farms during the growing season (May to September). There are in fact numerous groups, both Italian and foreign, that are welcomed and educated on the historicity of rice cultivation in the Grumolo area and accompanied to visit the rice fields in order to promote the name of Grumolo delle Abbadesse and its historic rice, synonymous with quality and tradition.
Francesco De Tacchi, Via Garibaldi 64, Gazzo (PD), tel. +39 0495995067, www.detacchi.it, firstname.lastname@example.org
The production area
The Vialone Nano rice from Grumolo delle Abbadesse Slow Food Presidium is currently grown in the production district of the municipalities of Grumolo delle Abbadesse (VI) and Gazzo Padovano (PD). This area corresponds to the possessions that the Benedictine Nuns of the Monastery of San Pietro of Vicenza have held and governed for about 800 years (from the year 1000 until the expropriation of ecclesiastical assets as a result of Napoleonic laws).
The introduction of rice cultivation in the ancient Pieve di Grumolo delle Abbadesse is due precisely to the nuns who around 1500/1600, thanks to the approval of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, deforested and reclaimed the semi-marshy land thus starting the new crop. To this end, they also changed the orography of the area by excavating the canals that still exist and are currently used for submerging the rice fields during the growing season. These canals, due to a height higher than the ground level, allow the water to reach the rice fields without any contamination.
Distinctive characters of Vialone Nano ricer
The Vialone Nano of the Grumolo delle Abbadesse Rice has medium-small grains (5mm) and is gently processed, with an ancient stone-husking machine: for this reason it appears darker in color than a regular white rice. At the same its specific organoleptic characteristics deriving from the mineral composition of the alluvial substrate of the soil on which it is cultivated are better preserved.
The Vialone Nano grows a lot during cooking (the volume increases by about 2.5 / 3 times) and absorbs any seasoning really well. The risottos are exceptional: from the traditional risi e bisi (a thick soup of rice and peas) to the risotto with livers – the classic dish of wedding lunches in the countryside – or with eel, shrimps and cuttlefish. It cooks in about 15 minutes.