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After harvest, the unrefined grains of Acquerello Carnaroli rice are aged in temperature-controlled silos for one to three years. This aging process improves the consistency of the grains, and allows them to absorb more cooking liquid. As a result, the cooked kernels are large and firm, and with no stickiness to their texture.
During the Acquerello production process, after the rice is aged, it is refined with a minimally invasive whitening process; Acquerello never uses harsh chemical methods, but instead an innovatively mechanical process. Piero Rondolino of Acquerello is the only rice producer who still carries out this process using a machine called the “screw,” invented in 1884 and still considered the gold standard. Unlike more modern, aggressively fast methods, this machine causes the grains to slowly rub against each other - keeping them whole and intact - until they’re polished to a lovely light honey color.
Acquerello is also the only risotto rice that is re-integrated with its own germ. The germ is the reproductive part of the plant, containing most of the plant’s vitamins and minerals; it is what makes brown rice so healthy, and is removed in the process of refining white rice. Acquerello has devised a unique process of adding the germ back to their rice after it has been processed; the result is a product that can be cooked quickly and simply like white rice, with the vital nutritional properties normally found only in brown rice.