Giant Vercelli Rice

Italy

Piedmont

Cereals and flours

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Giant Vercelli Rice

Vercelli is considered Europe’s rice capital, located right in the middle of the Piedmontese-Lombard rice-growing area, and has the largest surface area planted with rice in all of Europe. A network of ancient canals—constructed from the 13th century on—brings water from the Po, Dora Baltea, Sesia, Cervo and Elvo rivers to irrigate the rice paddies. Apart from the availability of water, the soil is also particularly suitable for rice: sandy, with a medium texture, good drainage and medium fertility. The climate in the area, with cold, foggy winters and hot, muggy summers, is particularly ideal for Giant Vercelli rice, a historic variety whose name comes from the tallness of the plant. Its grains are large and spindle-shaped and remain separate even after cooking. Its productivity and yield after processing are very low, but it is a hardy variety and has a natural resistance to fungal diseases, particularly rice blast, the most serious to affect rice.
Thanks to its high content of resistant starch, Giant Vercelli rice is very nutritious, as well as being perfect for preparing risotto, thanks to the way it holds up to cooking, its ability to absorb seasonings and a good release of starch, which adds creaminess to the final dish. “Rice is born in water and dies in wine,” goes a famous saying, exemplified by panissa vercellese, a risotto made with red wine, duja salami, lardo, beans and pork rind.

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Season

The rice is sown in April and harvested between September and October. The rice is available all year round.

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Selected in the 1940s, after the Second World War Giant Vercelli rice was one of the most commonly grown varieties in the Vercelli area among the fino and superfino types. In 1948 annual production was over 900 tons, but in the 1970s the surface area cultivated with this variety was drastically reduced in order to make space for more productive varieties.
Listed in the historic register of varieties, in recent years it has been revived by a number of farmers who select and exchange the best seeds. The Presidium protocol specifies sowing in very spaced-out rows, weed control before sowing by mechanical means only, crop rotation, minimal fertilizing and no chemical fungicidal or insecticidal treatments.
The Presidium has been established to support these farmers, to promote the rice variety, to encourage a revival of its cultivation and consumption and to gradually involve new rice-growers in the project.

Presidium supported by
Municipality of Vercelli, Consorzio Mediolanum Vercelli 1, Sabatino, Slow Food Vercelli Convivium

Technical partner
gliAironi – Risi & Co

Production area
Vercelli municipality (Vercelli province)
Ideariso
Vercelli
Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 1
tel. 0161 294844 - 335 1297939
info@ideariso.com
www.ideariso.com

Tabacchi
di Massimo e Maurizio Tabacchi
Vercelli
Cascina Vercellina
tel. 347 6949072
tabamau@alice.it

Varalda fratelli Franco e Piergiorgio
Vercelli
Cascina Muleggio
tel. 335 6005259
pvaralda@alice.it
Presidium producers coordinator
Maurizio Tabacchi
tel. 347 6949072
tabamau@alice.it

Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Gabriele Varalda
tel. 348 7979672
ilfidu@libero.it
Selected in the 1940s, after the Second World War Giant Vercelli rice was one of the most commonly grown varieties in the Vercelli area among the fino and superfino types. In 1948 annual production was over 900 tons, but in the 1970s the surface area cultivated with this variety was drastically reduced in order to make space for more productive varieties.
Listed in the historic register of varieties, in recent years it has been revived by a number of farmers who select and exchange the best seeds. The Presidium protocol specifies sowing in very spaced-out rows, weed control before sowing by mechanical means only, crop rotation, minimal fertilizing and no chemical fungicidal or insecticidal treatments.
The Presidium has been established to support these farmers, to promote the rice variety, to encourage a revival of its cultivation and consumption and to gradually involve new rice-growers in the project.

Presidium supported by
Municipality of Vercelli, Consorzio Mediolanum Vercelli 1, Sabatino, Slow Food Vercelli Convivium

Technical partner
gliAironi – Risi & Co

Production area
Vercelli municipality (Vercelli province)
Ideariso
Vercelli
Piazza Martiri della Liberta, 1
tel. 0161 294844 - 335 1297939
info@ideariso.com
www.ideariso.com

Tabacchi
di Massimo e Maurizio Tabacchi
Vercelli
Cascina Vercellina
tel. 347 6949072
tabamau@alice.it

Varalda fratelli Franco e Piergiorgio
Vercelli
Cascina Muleggio
tel. 335 6005259
pvaralda@alice.it
Presidium producers coordinator
Maurizio Tabacchi
tel. 347 6949072
tabamau@alice.it

Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Gabriele Varalda
tel. 348 7979672
ilfidu@libero.it

Territory

StateItaly
RegionPiedmont

Other info

CategoriesCereals and flours