NATIONAL RICE WEEK 13th – 19th SEPTEMBER…

National Rice Week takes place this week from 13th- 19th September.

The Yorkshire Times wrote that “Riso Gallo, the Italian rice and risotto experts, are once again supporting National Rice Week, teaming up with top UK chefs – including renowned Davide Degiovanni, Danilo Cortellini and Paul Gayler – to create a selection of rice inspired recipes!”

Riso Gallo is the first international brand in the sector to have undertaken the production of rice from sustainable agriculture, making their premium best-selling risotto rices – Gallo Risotto Tradition, Arborio, Carnaroli and Carnaroli Rustico – fully sustainable.

This means that almost 50% of Riso Gallo business in Europe (outside Italy) now comes from sustainable agriculture. And this is the first step of a progressive commitment from the company towards a fully sustainable approach to its’ rice business. The focus is on 0km sourcing, top quality raw materials and sustainable to the environment, people and local community. Sustainability and our commitment to plastic that is suitable for recycling are also indicators of the continuous attention to excellence from the Italian Maestro of Risotto.

All these rice variants are packaged using FSC certified cardboard and plastic vacuum packaging that is suitable for recycling, following the launch of a new eco-sustainable, low environmental impact plastic. Riso Gallo are the first company to adopt this sustainable packaging.

National Rice Week returns for its fourth year this September (13th – 19th), with a multichannel campaign that will help to raise the profile of the UK rice sector. Led by The Rice Association, the campaign will invite the nation to ‘Rice Up Your Life’ and highlight everything that rice offers; from its versatility to its nutritional benefits.

Working with well-known chefs and influencers, including twice Michelin-starred Atul Kochhar and chef, Jack Stein, the campaign will once again help to highlight the benefits of rice across media and social channels. Activity will demonstrate the many ways different varieties of rice can be used and enjoyed both in and out of home.

The Rice Association wrote that “as well as celebrating National Rice Week at home, there is loads going on across the country. They have collected details of businesses throughout the UK who are celebrating and offering special discounts, deals, events and menus during National Rice Week.”

Check out the Rice Association website for more details and lots of recipe ideas.

SHROVE TUESDAY/PANCAKE DAY FOLLOWED BY ASH WEDNESDAY…

Straight after Valentines Day comes Shrove Tuesday/ Pancake Day on Tuesday 16th February.

The day always falls on the seventh week before Easter.

It is also the day before Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of the the period known as Lent.

The tradition of eating pancakes stems from the time when people were trying to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk and sugar before the fasting season of Lent. It is traditionally a period where you stop eating certain foods i.e. sugar, fats, flour and eggs. They would empty their cupboards of these products and make lots of pancakes before lent started.

It takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday and pancake races have been going around for years. London has a number of famous ones.The Parliamentary Pancake Race starts from the Victoria Tower Gardens but due to Covid-19 has been cancelled this year as have many other well known pancake races in the UK. . The Parliamentary Pancake Race has has probably the most high-profile participants which feature three teams made up of MP’s, Lords and members of the press to help raise funds for the charity ‘Rehab’.

Some original fillings for your pancakes start with chocolate (yum, yum) fruits, syrups, fudge, sugar and ice cream, or of course, flamed with brandy (crepe Suzette).

My favourite site for recipes is the BBC Good Food Pancake Day Selection with 56 to choose from including Red Velvet Pancakes and G & T Pancakes and yet G & T as in gin and tonic. What more could you ask…

The following day is Ash Wednesday.

It marks the first day of fasting, repentance, prayer and self-control. Luxury or rich foods such as meat and dairy are often avoided by those taking part in Lent. Also abstention from personal ‘bad habit’s such as watching television or eating too much sugar is also commonly practised. It is a day in which Christians go through a period of 40 days of fasting, designed to help them remember the same amount of time Jesus spent fasting in the Wilderness.