The Italian Rice
Italy is the biggest rice producer in Europe, a product that is widely consumed all over the country. There are numerous dishes made with this cereal and they vary from one region to another. Rice production is mostly concentrated in Northern Italy, especially in the lower Padania area. In the past, rice was also grown in the river valleys of Sicily, in the town district of Catania. Today paddy fields are farm differently from the past, due to the introduction of mechanisation. There are two kinds of rice paddies: one is flooded, which means the plants are submerged for most of the growing period. The other kind of rice paddy is dry, where the spikes live on a dry ground from their planting to their harvest. Besides the fact that rice is a water plant, the role of water is also to mitigate the wide difference in temperatures during the daytime and nighttime and to avoid weeds from growing. Rice is harvested in autumn and dried before being worked. Firstly all the chaff, the outer part of the grain which is not edible, is removed and afterwards the rice is milled obtaining a white or semi-whole wheat rice. The most produced rice varieties in Italy are the Carnaroli and the Vialone rice, excellent for use in risotto, and also the Arborio, Basmati variety and many more.