Sushi rice at source
In the small village of Chiappona, south of Milan, is the Aldo Gergotti rice farm. Aldo drives his old Italian tractor every day towards the rice field, where his cousin is driving a slightly more modern combine. The buddies know each other’s ways of working and the same routines are repeated from day to day depending on the season. Sushi rice grows here as it has grown for decades. The field and rice space may not attract the attention of the occasional passer-by, but for Hanko Sushi, the field is particularly important; for us, this state is the source of our most important raw material. Aldo Gergotti is the farmer who produces all the sushi rice we use.
Rice is the most important ingredient in our sushi and its quality must be excellent and the producer reliable. Aldo and his wife have been cultivating in the same area for several generations. The space has idyllic and local architecture and a love of detail is conveyed quickly. In one corner there is an old wooden wagon tire, in the other a huge tractor tire that is unrepaired. In such an environment, work is still done with the same tools and methods as years ago and traditions are deeply rooted. Aldo’s appreciation and love for his own work is evident here everywhere; traditions are maintained and proud of.
The farm only grows Yume rice and its quality has been optimized to make it ideal for our use as sushi rice. By the way, Yume is the only Japanese rice variety grown in Europe and Italy has a long tradition of rice cultivation. Italian nature and conditions are surprisingly close to those of Japan. So the quality of the rice is high, even though there is only one hundred harvested annually. In general, the whole production is strongly based on craftsmanship and respect for traditions. Sushi rice is quite different in structure from other rice varieties and also requires a slightly different cultivation technique, ground on the Aldo farm to the point that the process is natural and optimal in terms of quality time and time again.
Rice grains are cleaned of bacteria and parasites by atmospheric pressure without chemicals or other additives. The white rice produced by the farm is a good source of energy-giving carbohydrates that make it easier to cope all day long – we proved this practically during our visit. In addition to the fast energy from carbohydrates, white rice contains amino acids that are useful in building muscle mass. Rice is also well suited for people with high blood pressure due to its low sodium content.