6. Preservation and tasting

Strada del Riso



A good risotto at the right moment

The length, the size of the grain, as well as its appearance and cooking behavior determine the following varieties: common or round, semifino, fino and superfino. The farms of Parco Agricolo delle Risaie produce mainly Carnaroli rice, suitable for the preparation of risotto and rice salads because it “holds” particularly the cooking and the grains remain well “shelled”. This variety of rice takes up of the highest level of quality of Italian rice production, but there are many more: discover the most important ones in the table beside.




It was not until 1800 that the first recipes for preparing rice appeared, different from the usual way of cooking: boiling in water. In fact, in 1809, the recipe of the “yellow rice in the pan”, in which the rice was sautéed in butter, with onion, marrow and cooked in the broth in which saffron was dissolved. The first true recipe of the “Risotto alla Milanese Giallo” is from 1929 , when the new Cook Milanese Economic of the famous chef milanese Felice Luraschi – comes up with this new final touch: grated cheese.

There are many legends about the birth of the risotto alla milanese with saffron. The most believed legend, even though imaginative, says that in the year 1574, saffron was used completely accidentally in the preparation of the famous yellow risotto, and then said “alla milanese”.

According to a manuscript that can be found today at Biblioteca Trivulziana, indeed, Mastro Valerio of Flanders, Flemish of Louvain who at the time worked on the stained glass windows of the Cathedral of Milan (the stained glass depicting the life of Sant’Elena) was helped by a worker whose nickname was Saffron.
The nickname derives from the fact that he had the tendency to use a little bit of saffron in his color mixtures to make them chromatically livelier. One day, as a joke a day, the teacher told him that he would end up putting colour yellow even in his dishes. Saffron took his word for it and on the wedding day of Valerio’s daughter (September 1754), a little bit as a joke but mainly out of jealousy, Saffron agrees with the chef responsible for the banquet and asks to put the saffron into the rice, which at that time was seasoned with butter only. The risotto, which was initially welcomed with amazement and suspicious by the guests, then had a great appreciation, thanks not only to the flavorful taste of saffron, but also to its golden yellow color, which is a synonym of wealth and happiness. It was such a huge success that the news of the “trendy” dish quickly spread out through the whole city, and soon all of Milan tasted the yellow coloured risotto.

The classic yellow risotto Milanese, which began this way, unites 2 icons of the city of Milan: the cathedral –Duomo and the risotto.


Source: http://www.lagobba.it/?p=1557

Find out more about other stages of the Rice Road:

1. Use of water resources
2. Land preparation and planting
3. From earth to sky
4. Treatment and harvesting
5. Paddy rice processing
6. Preservation and tasting