This article is also available in: Italian
The Isola della Scala Rice Festival, in the province of Verona, celebrates the 50th edition in 2016. Half a century of history has turned the event into the most visited gastronomic festival related to a single product in Italy. The golden wedding anniversary will be officially celebrated from September 14th, when the festival will start, until October 9th.
The event will celebrate the Nano Vialone Veronese rice, the first PGI in Europe, and the local recipe “risotto all’isolana”. Isola della Scala is thus confirmed, once again, the Veronese capital of rice. The event, in fact, attracts half a million people every year to a village of just over 11 thousand inhabitants.
An audience of foodies ever expanding: until a decade ago only Veronese used to attend the festival (usually repeaters), now the rice and risotto of Isola della Scala attract thousands of good food lovers from all over Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Lombardy and Emilia Romagna regions. There are also plenty of visitors from other regions of central and south Italy and other European countries.
300 chefs participate every year at the festival. In addition to traditional stands, many contests and culinary theme evenings have made this event the largest Italian workshop about risotto, probably the most popular Italian dish abroad -together with pizza and pasta-, which is presented in dozens of different recipes during the festival.
National associations related to fine food and wine took part in the latest editions, such as the Federazione Italiana Cuochi (Italian chefs’ federation), represented by the award-winning chefs from La Scala, and the Italian Sommelier Association, committed to ensure that, alongside an excellent risotto, an equally good glass of wine is served.
During the last years, the festival has enriched the experience of the visitors by expanding the exhibition grounds and the services, increasing the number of exhibitors (about 150), organizing guided tours of the territory, promoting initiatives and tastings both in Italy and abroad. During the event the events held at Isola della Scala are about a hundred.
For further information about the event see: www.fieradelriso.it
THE RECIPE: RISOTTO ALL’ISOLANA
The recipe “Risotto all’Isolana”, conceived by Cavalier Pietro Secchiati, is such an important tradition that in 1985 the mayor of Isola della Scala made it official by law resolution. Here is the recipe for you!
½ kg Nano Vialone Veronese PGI Rice
1 l of fine broth
200 g of lean veal
200 g of pork loin
80 g of butter
80 g of Grana cheese
Pepper, salt, cinnamon and rosemary q. s.
Cut the meat into cubes, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and leave to stand for an hour. Melt the butter, put a sprig of rosemary and cook the meat until brown. Cook over low heat until the meat is completely cooked, then remove the rosemary. Boil the broth, add the rice and cook for 18-20 minutes over low heat; the rice will absorb the broth. Season the risotto with the sauce previously prepared and with grated Grana cheese, flavoured with cinnamon.