It took the courage of Piero Rondolino to involve schools and teachers from all over Europe and to encourage the children of junior schools to prepare a rice-based dish.
Once upon a time, for Italian epicures it was traditional to eat ‘gnocchi on Thursday’, for the faithful ‘fish on Friday’ and then for the gourmands ‘tripe on Saturday’: for some years now a ‘vegetarian Monday’ has also been on the cards.
In 2015, rice came on the scene. This basic food now has its own day: Wednesday.
Thanks to the agricultural holding of the Rondolino family, producers of Acquerello Rice and, a cultural and educational project that involved 1895 children, 103 schools and 4 European countries.
Rice on Wednesday, Best Practices became part of the Charter of Milan and the Expo School Project, which ended the first edition on Wednesday October 21st.
A brief conference was held at the Sala Libeccio of Eataly Expo, led by Edoardo Raspelli, where all the children of the winning class of the 2015 Edition of Rice on Wednesday (who had studied the Children’s Charter of Milan published by Feltrinelli) read out what they considered to be the most important sections, and they were then the first to sign it.
The complete dossier of the project and the signatures will be delivered by the Rondolino family to the ONU, as a practical application of the principles of the Milan Charter.
For the occasion, the chef Giuseppe Iannotti of the Jeunes Restaurateurs d'Europe repeated the recipe ‘Riso Arcobaleno’ with which the children of sixteen different nationalities from Class 5 of the Istituto Collodi in Treviso won the final of the competition organized at Tenuta Colombara in Livorno Ferraris. This recipe, based on boiled rice enhanced with colourful vegetables, was chosen by the children as the expression of all their traditional recipes, which they presented in class on March 28th 2015.
“The most important thing is to believe in the children and their capabilities”, said Lina Zottarel, teacher at Istituto Collodi in Treviso
"Rice on Wednesday represents the philosophy of Slow Food for its diversity and its awareness of food", Francesca Rocchi, National Vice President Slow Food
“Rice on Wednesday” gave many children the opportunity to enjoy an unforgettable experience”, said Valentina De Poli, Director of Topolino Magazine, which will publish a report on the day in the November issue
“Of course, rice is eaten all over the world; of course, rice is the most important ingredient in human nutrition, but that it travelled around the world in the form of recipes and that these recipes were presented by children is a big surprise”, said Edoardo Raspelli ‘food reporter’ and presenter of the TV programme Melaverde