A UNIQUE RICE IN A UNIQUE TIN
The story of Acquerello
THE TENUTA COLOMBARA, WHERE ACQUERELLO IS BORN
Acquerello rice grows in the beautiful rice paddies of Tenuta Colombara in Vercelli, Piemonte. Piemonte is a land of excellent food and wine. Rice has been grown here since the late fourteen hundreds, at the dawn of rice in Italy. Italy is now the largest producer of rice in Europe. Tenuta Colombara dramatically changes colors over the seasons because rice needs water flooding. During spring, the flooded rice paddies show a mirror-like lake of unique wonder. In summer, the paddies are bright green and the water is still standing, which makes it an ideal habitat for water birds such swallows, frogs and dragonflies. In autumn, the paddies assume a gold color and await the harvesters. In winter, the paddies often turn white with frost and snow.
RESPECT OF TRADITIONS IN A MODERN ENVIRONMENT
Piero Rondolino, having in mind the highest production standards, built a new processing plant in 2001. The processing technologies are a mix of traditional methods with the most modern machinery and technolgies. The result is the highest possible standard of quality. The rice grains, before earning the name Acquerello, need to age at least one year and up to seven years. This slow and delicate process goes through twenty well defined stages.
Appropriate aging is demanding. The harvested rice needs to be stored in cool warehouses for the longest possible time. When harvested, the rice stops the vegetative cycle and is ready for consumption, but has not yet achieved the organoleptic qualities, balance and perfection that are needed for Acquerello rice. The rice is stored in temperature-controlled silos at less than 15°C (59°F). In this way the rice goes through a very slow breathing process, which provides the desired level of hardness to the cooked rice grain (al dente). This is achieved by aging, which makes starch and the proteins less soluble and increases the capacity to absorb the ingredients added as condiments.
THE TASTIEST, THE RICHEST, THE HEALTHIEST RICE
The nutrients of brown rice and the easiness to cook of white rice, Acquerello brings together the best from both rices.
“The vacuum packed can is the perfect, traditional container designed especially for Acquerello. I chose this name because water is the vital element of rice. The image on the can represents our farmstead: Tenuta Colombara and its reflection in the water…”