Today we get to know Gli Aironi a bit better. Gli Aironi (The herons) is an Italian brand specialised in rice, many products are gluten free and incredibly good. Today I have met Michele Perinotti and Gabriele Conte, co-founders of the company, and I would like to tell you a story about rice the way I heard it, the way it started centuries ago….
In the 17th century it is said that some Benedettini monks hid 31 grains of rice in a cane and brought them from China to Italy. They stopped at the Lucedio Abbey in the Grange Vercellesi area, in the North of our country, and they began to grow rice. The Grange Vercellesi is where rice crops started to develop and today it is renown world wide for its top quality rice production.
Gli Aironi was born at the beginning of the 20th centuries, Michele Perinotti’s family began to cultivate rice crops with the objective of producing the best rice varieties by fully respecting nature. At the beginning they sold rice to other companies that transformed it and then one day Michele Perinotti, after studying and getting passionate about rice, decided to transform it himself in order to show how fantastic this little grain can be.
Today Michele and his associate partner Gabriele Conte have created and developed a whole new world around rice and by respecting nature and the environment they succeeded at having the rare Herons “Cenerini” back to the Grange area. For me it was a pure joy and an honour to step into their world and visit their company that is actually in the middle of rice fields.
From carnaroli to vialone nano, from baldo to arborio, from the venere black rice to the whole red one, they produce so many varieties for so many flavours.
Michele and Gabriele have also created a bakery where they make a delicious range of rice biscuits, some of them are gluten free and so good! Besides most of their products are certified organic.
Michele who is passionate about food and cooking has created a ready meal risotto range with one objective in mind: show how versatile rice can be. Actually white rice is almost neutral in taste and that gives you the chance to experiment and marry it with so many different ingredients in order to create incredibly tasty combinations.
Gli Aironi has recently added new typical Italian flavours to their ready meal risotto range like chickpeas and speck, codfish and potatoes, cabbage and anchovies, tomatoes and rosemary. Mmmmh, can’t wait to try them. I love risotto so much 🙂
I also enjoyed their snacks that are naturally flavoured rice bars created in collaboration with healthy conscious cook Marco Bianchi. They have no added sugar and are full of precious nutrients like Omega 3.
When I asked Michele which was the best gluten free food that he had ever eaten, he told me the hazelnut cake that is typical of the Piemonte region and the rice “vellutate” (purée) that he made once for the brand. With the vellutate you could make ready-to-go soups or sweet budini (puddings) and by using a syphon they became rice foams.
I am so grateful to brands like the Aironi that can show us today that naturally gluten free rice has such an incredible taste and potential, and it can be eaten and enjoyed by everybody, including celiac people like myself 😉