With its rich chromatic nuances and fragrance and flavor that stand out for their particular intensity, the Venus rice has entered the Italian table and is increasingly appreciated not only for its taste but also for its many properties to be discovered.
Venere rice is characterized by the small and fragrant grain dark in color, whose shades vary from deep brown to black. Its cultivation is today widespread in our country mainly in Piedmont is Lombardy but it arrives, like many varieties of dark rice, from the East and in particular from China where black rice was considered a prized food due to the complexities associated with cultivation and therefore reserved for the noblest tables. At the end of the nineties, in Piedmont, a variety of local white rice was crossed with an Asian black rice, giving rise to the Italian variety Venere. The choice of such a particular name is linked to the aphrodisiac properties that were attributed to black rice in the East. We do not know if these ancient beliefs are true, but it is true that Venus rice has many beneficial properties.
Grains of goodness
The color of Venere rice is the first indication of the numerous nutrients which contains, in fact, is due to the pericarp, the skin that covers it, and is rich in anthocyanins, natural antioxidants (also found in blueberries) and contrast thecellular aging, can help in the prevention of degenerative and cardiac diseases, have a beneficial effect on the circulation and on the view.
Moreover, Venere rice is a valuable source of fibers: it is a brown rice that is not subjected to treatments to eliminate the coatings, but only deprived of the outermost inedible skin. Like other varieties of rice it does not contain gluten so it is indicated for diets gluten free. A portion of Venere rice is also a valuable source of vitamins, iron (comes to contain up to 4 times more than common rice), mineral salts, thus helping the general well-being of the organism.
How to cook Venere rice
In cooking the decisive and particular aroma of Venere rice is released in all its intensity. This variety with its always crunchy grain requires slightly longer cooking times than other types of rice: at least 40 minutes if boiled in boiling water, which can be halved if cooked in pressure cooker. Also indicated cooking pilaf which, after a quick roasting in a pan with a drizzle of oil, involves cooking in the oven. To try it, the toasted Venere rice should be placed in a baking dish, covered with water (about twice its quantity), and left to cook for about 30 minutes at 200C.
Tasty and colorful recipes
Perhaps due to its oriental origins, Venere rice is often the protagonist of ethnic dishes, in which it combines fish or meat preparations. Perfect accompaniment for the curry, gives an extra nuance to even the most colorful bowl, such as those based on vegetables, avocado and salmon tartare. A tantalizing idea is the bowl of black rice with romesco sauce.
The crunchiness of its grains makes it an ideal ingredient also for the rice salads – like the one with shrimp, zucchini and carrots – or to experiment dishes with impeccable presentation. perfect turrets of Venere rice stand next to stewed cabbage, mixed with meat and vegetables or are the main element of scenic recipes such as the Venere rice tower with almond cream and tomato. And still meatballs, ethnic risottos, paellas or – why not – dessert surprising as the Venere rice with pistachios that combines the most typical Sicilian flavors with oriental charm.
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