Bell Italia’s blog deals with spreading and promoting top quality made in Italy, providing advice to retailers and wholesalers all over the world about the best Italian products to offer to their customers. Items that embellish the shelf, guaranteeing to the shopkeeper high turnover and, above all, excellent margins. Today we talk about Italian rice and we reveal which are the 5 best brands according to Bell Italia.
Rice is one of the most consumed foods in the world. It has very ancient origins: some findings that took place in eastern China dating back to six thousand years ago confirm that this cereal has been cultivated and consumed since ancient times. Its diffusion in the West dates back to the 4th century BC. when it first landed in Mesopotamia, then in Europe thanks to the Greeks. Asia is therefore the cradle of rice civilizations. An ancient Vietnamese legend tells of a king who, near death, ordered his eldest son to invent a dish that was “worthy of a king“, to be buried with him in the grave, so that the deceased sovereign could offer it as a gift to his ancestors . The eldest son failed, whereas his younger brother prepared a round rice cake overlaid on another one, which was square-shaped, with a layer of meat in the middle. This tasty invention pleased the old king so much that he decided to appoint his second son as heir to the throne in place of his older brother.
Rice is an extremely nutritious cereal, because it is rich in carbohydrates and a source of energy for the organism. It has a high protein value and a very low fat content. Furthermore, its characteristics make it the most digestible of cereals. Rice, in particular brown rice, has a high anti-inflammatory power, because it contains specific substances that counteract the biological agents responsible for the inflammatory processes of the intestine. Another great advantage of rice is the very low sodium content, which is contrasted by a high presence of potassium. The perfect balance between the two elements that regulate the body’s hydration makes rice an excellent ally against water retention.
Italy is the leading producer of rice in the EU, with around 1.50 million tons per year (corresponding to 50% of the entire European production) and over 219 thousand hectares dedicated to the cultivation of this cereal. Among the many varieties of rice available in the world (there are over 40 thousand, even if only a hundred are used for commercial purposes), those that are most tied to the Italian tradition derive from the Japonica subspecies. It is a rice originating in China, with a round, short and pearly grain. All the varieties grown in our Country belong to this family.
Despite the consumption of rice in Italy and Europe is still relatively low compared to the countries of the Far East (5 kg per capita per year against, for example, the 170 of Laos), this cereal has married our cuisine very well, becoming protagonist of numerous Italian recipes of excellence. Let’s now see in detail some of the main Italian rice varieties.
Arborio: Italian rice with large grains, ideal for risottos to achieve excellent creaming, thanks to the high starch content of this quality.
Baldo: Italian rice with a long grain, with coarse grain and a crystalline structure. Ideal for risottos and rice salads.
Carnaroli: it is perhaps the best Italian rice. Appreciated and used by great chefs for its refined flavor, excellent cooking resistance and perfect absorption.
Originario: Italian short-grain rice, known for its great absorption capacity. It is mainly used to prepare soups, arancini, but also sweets and fillings.
Parboiled: this English term, which derives from the union of the words partially and boiled, indicates a particular treatment that allows rice to better resist prolonged cooking. It is suitable for salads.
Ribe: appreciated for the perfect cooking resistance of the beans, it is used a lot in stuffed peppers and tomatoes.
Roma: Italian rice with very consistent grains. Ideal for baked risotto or au gratin.
Venere: a rice to which tradition attributes aphrodisiac qualities (hence its name). Widespread in China, today it is also grown in Italy, in the Po Valley. Suitable to accompany dishes with fish and shellfish.
Let’s now see which are the 5 best Italian rice brands according to Bell Italia.
The first brand we’ll talk about is Scotti. It is a company that, in 160 years of history, has grown a lot, turning from a family business to a large European rice group. Proudly Italian, of course, as is well read on each package, where the tricolor flag is always clearly visible. Scotti offers a very wide assortment: from “classic” rice to ready-made risottos, from bread substitutes to condiments, from biscuits to vegetable drinks. Scotti products are beautiful to see on the shelf and have an excellent quality-price ratio. They are also highly appreciated abroad: the Scotti brand is currently present in about 80 countries. Bell Italia recommends Scotti Rice for Risotto, in the vacuum pack that allows you to see the rice grains.
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A funny smiling rooster has been the symbol of Italian rice for about a century. Yes, because Riso Gallo is one of the oldest, most important and well-known Italian rice industries. A company that for 6 generations has been committed to spreading the culture of rice and risotto all over the world, between tradition and constant innovation, to better adapt to the needs of consumers. Riso Gallo products guarantee superior and rigorously Italian-made quality: they are tasty and they will amaze your customers, guaranteeing excellent shelf rotation for your shelf. Bell Italia has prepared a strong promotion on the entire Riso Gallo line.
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The third of the top 5 Italian rice brands according to Bell Italia is Flora, the historic “rice that does not go overcooked“. Born in the 1960s, this brand is a specialist in the parboiled variety. It offers an assortment of rice ready in minutes, ideal for risottos, salads and other recipes, which perfectly hold cooking consistency. The look has been recently renewed, and the new packaging definitely does not go unnoticed in the store. Not surprisingly, Flora rice in the classic 1 kg format is the best-selling reference on the Italian market. Bell Italia has prepared a strong promotion on the entire Riso Flora line.
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Let’s continue our special review dedicated to Italian rice by introducing Curtiriso, historic brand that offers high quality rice at a really affordable price. The recently renewed retro look and the Italian flag on display on the label underline the strong link with our land’s tradition. Curtiriso is a highly appreciated brand on the domestic market and requested by many of our customers, especially in Northern Europe and the United Kingdom. For them and for all of you, Bell Italia has prepared a truly top offer!
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Our fifth and final proposal is Alce Nero, the brand that gathers over a thousand organic farmers and processors to bring onto tables worldwide only good products that respect the earth. We have selected Alce Nero organic brown rice: grown in Italy, its beans have a characteristic honeyed color. It is genuine truly top-quality. Ideal for preparing vegetable soups and cold salads.
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Keep following our advice and proposals, choosing the best Italian products for your supermarket abroad and taking advantage of the extraordinary offers that Bell Italia reserves to its customers. Since 2010, bringing the best of made in Italy food all over the world has been easy and convenient thanks to Bell Italia. Contact our sales assistants Ezia Caputo (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Giovanna Caprioli (email@example.com) if you wish to receive more information.
Bell Italia: since 2010, from Italy with love!