The Biella and Vercelli Baraggia Rice, the first and only Italian PDO rice, is a product with wholly particular qualitative and nutritional characteristics.
From a nutritional point of view, Baraggia rice is characterised by higher resistance to cooking and its marked tendency to absorb flavours and condiments.
The history of rice cultivation in the Baraggia area is centuries-long and the diversity of selected rice since the end of the nineteenth century was described for many years by the Rice Cultivation Journal. Many of the best known and most widespread cultivars of the last century are the result of research and selection procedures carried forth by farsighted Baraggia producers: Ranghino (1887), Greppi (1906), Rosso Gorei (1922), Roncarolo Giovanni (1924), Riccardo Restano (1926), Generale Rossi (1926), Vercelli (1926), Pierrot (1927), S. Giacomo (1927), Barbero (1929), Carluccio Gallardi (1931), Battezzato (1935), Vercelli Gigante Inallettabile (1936), Arborio (1946), Franco Roncarolo (1948), A 3 Marchetti (1950), Precoce Corbetta (1954), S. Domenico (1957), Rosa Marchetti (1964).
The particular climate and soil conditions of the Baraggia terroir ensure the unique quality characteristics and excellence of the rice. Rigorous and concrete specifications guarantee the product and its link to the area. The cultivation of the PDO Biella and Vercelli Baraggia Rice is based on the following values:
1. Baraggia terroir: the purity of the water, the fresh and ventilated climate and the particular soil conditions lead to lower production levels per hectare, but give the cultivated rice higher compactness, a particular capacity to ensure perfect cooking while also enhancing a balanced absorption of condiments.
2. Protected environment: surrounded by natural reserves denominated as protected areas by the Piedmont Region, the Baraggia rice cultivation area is irrigated thanks to the channelling of water courses that descend directly from the Alps and Prealps.
3. Guarantee of traceability and links to the territory: the Baraggia Rice PDO guarantees the traceability of the rice, from cultivation to processing and packaging. Each step of the production chain takes place exclusively in the Baraggia area, from the fields to the table.
4. Typical nature: the production of the PDO rice takes place in observance of traditional methods linked to the geographic environment. This includes not only natural factors of the area of origin, but also human ones, such as local agricultural and processing-related know-how and techniques.
5. Guarantee of authenticity of the cultivar: the Baraggia PDO specifications ensure the purity of the variety of cultivated rice, which must be the same as what is indicated on the label; you will only find authentic rice varieties in PDO rice packages.
6. Quality of the processed rice: rice farms adhering to the Protection consortium have more restrictive rice selection and processing regulations than those set by law, ensuring homogeneity of the packaged product and thus better cooking properties.
7. Reliability: all the phases indicated above are guaranteed by Italian and European laws, by production specifications approved by the Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies and by a Conformity Check Plan established by the National Rice Association, recognised by the same Ministry.