Rice is unique among cereal grains in that the entire polished grain is eaten while other cereals are usually processed before they reach the consumer. Grain quality in rice is, therefore, a very sensitive issue. Interests and priorities of different sectors of rice industry are different. Farmers are interested in early maturity and high yield that would give them high returns in the form of good produce and provide enough time for sowing
subsequent crops including wheat. Millers interest is high head rice recovery. Traders prefer attractive physical appearance (shape and size), whiteness and uniform grain size.
Types of Italian Rice
Italy grows mostly short, barrel shaped rice that is different than the long-grain rice that is usually boiled or steamed. Among this type of rice are four categories based on grain size: comune, semifino, fino, and superfino. The superfino rice is the type most used for risotto, with Arborio being the most recognized outside of Italy. However, Venetian cooks prefer the Carnaroli variety, which was invented in the 1950′s. Baldo is another variety well-known for making excellent risotto and among the semifino; Vialone Nano is also popular with the Veronese variety given a PGI designation.
Nutritional benefits of rice
- Rice is an excellent source of energy. It is rich in carbohydrates, which are broken down into glucose to provide energy for working muscles and fuel for the brain.
- Rice is low in sugar and total fat and saturated fat. It is cholesterol-free, contains negligible amounts of salt and has no additives or preservatives. It is suitable to include in a diet for those watching their weight or on cholesterol-lowering diets.
- Rice is gluten-free, making it ideal for people who are unable to tolerate the proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, oats and triticale.
- The glycaemic index (GI) ranks foods based on their immediate effect on blood sugar levels. Eating low GI foods, such as certain varieties of rice, can lower insulin levels which makes fat easier to burn and less likely to be stored.