The many varieties of rice

The many varieties of rice

There are so many variety of rice; in the country alone those registered in the national register are more than 100, while those used on a large scale, about thirty. In the country, on a commercial level, rice is classified, according to the shape and size of the grain, in four groups: common or round, semi-fine, till e superfine.


Polished, whole grain or parboiled rice?


Many types of rice that we normally consume have been subjected to bleaching and polishing, two processes through which different nutritional qualities of brown rice (mineral salts, vitamins and fibers) are lost. Through the whitening the outermost layers of the grain are eliminated, with different steps through which various types of product, more or less refined, are obtained.

After bleaching, the brilliance final: a superficial treatment with glucose or an oiling with vaseline oil, which gives the grains the typical shine.

If we want to opt for less refined products, we can choose a brown rice or even a parboiled rice.


Read all the properties and benefits of rice


Il brown rice it is particularly rich in fibers and has a high satiety index. It keeps all the properties intact and is therefore richer in nutrients compared to the one subjected to whitening and polishing. It is also indicated in the diet of those who want to lose weight or adopt a detoxification regimen. Has a lower glycemic index than refined rice and is therefore more suitable for those who need to pay particular attention to blood sugar control.

Parboiled rice it is qualitatively similar to the integral one; the treatment it receives, responsible for the characteristic amber color, allows it to practically keep the nutritional properties intact; qualities that, again thanks to the treatment received, are preserved even with cooking. Parboiled rice does not overcook, a feature that makes it suitable for many preparations.

We describe, in more detail, the characteristics of four varieties of rice: Arborio, Ribe, Nero Venere and Basmati.


Riso Arborio

Together with Carnaroli, the Arborio rice it is one of the most used in the country kitchen. Presents large and long grains and has a particularly high content of starch. Thanks to its large size it has a good resistance to cooking and is particularly suitable for the preparation of risotto, it is not, however, very suitable as an ingredient for desserts; in rice-based desserts it is preferable to use qualities with smaller grains.

The cooking time of the Arborio varies in relation to aging, the vintage, the degree of processing and also the way in which it is cooked. In general, however, it cooks in 15-17 minutes.

Arborio rice has a high yield; the grains cook perfectly and evenly, keeping the central part al dente. During the preparation of risottos, the grains tend to grow by absorbing the seasoning.


Ribe rice

Ribe rice has a compact texture and long, thin grains. It is the most used variety for parboiled treatment. It resists cooking very well and is always a little al dente. It lends itself to many types of preparation; it is in fact the most versatile of the types of rice on the market in the country. It is used for the preparation of risottos and soups and is also suitable for those dishes that require long cooking, for example the rice timbale. Thanks to its tightness, it can also be used for salads.

It cooks, in 14-18 minutes, according to the type of recipe.


Basmati rice

It is a variety of rice of Indian origin, and it is cultivated mainly in India and Pakistan, but is easily found on the market here in the country as well. The name means "Queen of fragrance"; in fact, it has a characteristic spicy scent of sandalwood and hazelnuts. It lends itself to the combination with meats, legumes and vegetables and, therefore, to the preparation of unique dishes; it's great like boundary, simply seasoned with a little butter or olive oil, and can be used to accompany many main courses, instead of bread.

Her grains are long and very thin; after cooking they remain separate and firm. It can be found on the market both bleached and in the integral version.


Venere black rice

Venere black rice originates from China, but is now also grown in the country, in the Po Valley. It is a quality of brown rice and has a significantly higher protein, iron and selenium content than other varieties. It is very rich in silicon and water-soluble vitamins, including B1, B2 and PP. The characteristic black color is due to the presence of Anthocyanins, substances known for power antioxidant.

According to a Chinese legend, Venus rice was appreciated by the court of the ancient Chinese emperors for its aphrodisiac properties, as well as for its richness in nutrients.

It has rather long cooking times. It is generally used boiled and then paired with fish or vegetables. 


Do you know how the rice diet works?

3 recipes with Venere rice



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