Riserva San Massimo: Royal Risotto
The Risotto Revolution in All Its Glory
In the heart of the Ticino Valley, inside a bend of the river of the same name, which extends for over 600 hectares, there is Riserva San Massimo, the source of the prized rice, which we proudly serve at Cactus. What is truly extraordinary is that only a third of this estate is dedicated to rice cultivation; the rest is a nature reserve, recognized by the European Union as a site of community interest and special protection (SCI SPA). This harmonious coexistence contributes, in an invaluable way, both to the preservation of the environment and to the quality of the rice.
A Green Oasis
In this green oasis, the essence of authenticity permeates the air, where nature and humanity exist in a symbiotic rhythm. Modern technologies have transformed rice production into a highly specialized art, while the rows of fruit trees meet the needs of the fauna, which populates the estate. Their presence fuels a unique life cycle, in harmony with the flow of water through these pristine lands, enriching the rice fields with organic substances from these pristine soils. It is perhaps this same synergy that makes every nuance of the estate shine radiantly under the sun’s rays, similar to precious diamonds born from the centuries-old tradition of rice cultivation.
Discovering the Reserve
During a conversation with Mr. Massignani, affectionately known as Dino by those who care about authenticity, every word resonates with his passion for his craft and the love that accompanies his every gesture. He points to a heron taking flight from one of the streams along the rough road or a lump of salt on a tree trunk, deliberately left for the “Bambis.” With ease and wisdom, he discusses soil tests and nitrogen units as we wander the estate’s fields. Dino stops for a moment in the shade of a wild plum tree, a fruit born from an uncontaminated land. This same essence is what we find in every grain of Carnaroli rice from Riserva San Massimo, the culmination of Dino’s relentless dedication that he brings to our table.
The tradition that keeps pace with time
Authentic: Because it was born in the Ticino Valley, in a unique natural place, rich in biodiversity: the San Massimo Reserve, a Site of Community Interest.
Sustainable: Because all phases of cultivation are carried out respecting biodiversity and protecting the environment.
Traditional: Because it undergoes a long 2-hour stone husking process with fine grains so as not to stress the bean.
Delicate: Because it contains the aromas of the Reserve and preserves the organoleptic qualities acquired during cultivation.
Genuine: Because it is irrigated by the pure water of the springs and is nourished by the organic substance of which the soil of the Reserve is rich.
Precious: Because all the fields have a morphology that has never been modified over the years, a limited surface area and each one its own name.
Every bite embodies a century-old tradition in harmony with nature. Every gram is the result of a delicate dance between water, earth, sunlight, fauna and humanity. This delicate interweaving gives life to the authenticity of an Italian culinary classic, which embellishes our tables, a treasure that transcends time and tradition.