Apologies for the fewer number of pieces posted in recent days but I have been in too much pain to write – a condition that should leave as quickly as it arrived with expert manipulation tomorrow.
Please be patient dear readers, I have over 10 pieces – including another scoop - sitting in my draft box all waiting for a final edit, photographs, or that last wee fact which I always aim for in www.garethjonesfood.com.
Anyway, to the point of the story. We’ve been hearing lots about M&S’s grand plan to stock several hundred ‘foreign’ brands – smart foods that you find in speciality stores, delicatessens and salumeria’s if you’re lucky enough to have any in your area – but which are easy finds across Europe. Our local Simply Food M&S has a tiny teasing of the overall offer – and in it, on the bottom shelf (note light hearted complaint brought on by pain) was one of my two most favourite risotto rices – Acquerello. I was taken aback. My delight showed. I told at least two other shoppers scanning the range. I told the check-out girl.
Guess what, I’d started the near weekly big stock pot only that morning.
Acquerello is run by a long established rice growing family in the Po Valley (Heston visited them a few months back for one of his TV programmes). Rice growing is another debt we owe to the Moors – note bene all Blue Collar Gastronauts. They are particularly special because they take time to age their rice a minimum of one year – absolutely essential, but costly for the producer - and the quality is sublime. Nobody talks about age of rice because more money is harvested by selling quick. Acquerello comes in a 500g ring pull can, like Illy coffee. They do sell it in beautiful paper bags in Italy and a few very smart food shops elsewhere.
Never stint with risotto – best home-made stock and good rice – for good rice it doesn’t get too much better than Acquerello. I was handed a can to try by a Michelin starred chef friend in Belgium some years ago now and I’ve sought it out ever since. That’s three testimonials, including Heston.
Pain free tomorrow – I pray – I now have only a few minutes journey to buy my Acquerello. Thank you Marc Bolland for making a miserable man happy yesterday. They always say it’s the small things that more often delight us – see www.walkwithjoy.com.