Excluding tax & shipping
After harvest, the unrefined grains of Acquerello rice are aged in temperature-controlled silos for one to three years. This aging process improves the consistency of the grains, and allows them to absorb more cooking liquid. As a result, the cooked kernels are large and firm, and with no stickiness to their texture.
During the Acquerello production process, after the rice is aged, it is refined with a minimally invasive whitening process; Acquerello never uses harsh chemical methods, but instead an innovatively mechanical process. Piero Rondolino of Acquerello is the only rice producer who still carries out this process using a machine called the “screw,” invented in 1884 and still considered the gold standard. Unlike more modern, aggressively fast methods, this machine causes the grains to slowly rub against each other - keeping them whole and intact - until they’re polished to a lovely light honey color.
Acquerello is also the only rice that is re-integrated with its own germ. The germ is the reproductive part of the plant, containing most of the plant’s vitamins and minerals; it is what makes brown rice so healthy, and is removed in the process of refining white rice. Acquerello has devised a unique process of adding the germ back to their rice after it has been processed; the result is a product that can be cooked quickly and simply like white rice, with the vital nutritional properties normally found only in brown rice.
Acquerello carnaroli rice is produced by the Rondolino family, which has been harvesting rice on their estate, "Tenuta Colombara," in the province of Vercelli, Piemonte, since 1935. Since 2000, Piero and Maria Nava and their children Rinaldo, Umberto and Anna, have planted only carnaroli rice on their farm, to avoid the possibility of accidental hybridization. The family is proud to carry on their region’s historic tradition; thanks to the fertility of its soil and purity of its water, Vercelli is one of Europe’s oldest rice producing regions, and one of the oldest urban sites in Italy, with settlements dating back to 600 BC.
Is all rice created equal? To be perfectly honest, I thought that was the case until a recent visit to Acquerello farm...which grows a type of sought-after rice that many of the world's top chefs use in their risottos.