Maratelli

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Maratelli

Maratelli is a Semifino rice, native to the Asigliano Vercellese province of Vercelli northern Italy. It is a stable rice genotype that maintains its features. In 1970 it covered 8% of Italian rice-cultivated fields. Maratelli rice keeps its shape better than other forms of rice during the slow cooking required for making risotto due to higher quantities of amylose. Maratelli is an historical variety of Italian rice production, developed in 1919 through the selection of Chinese Originario by Mr. Mario Maratelli from Asigliano Vercellese. Maratelli is a semi-early variety (15 days earlier than Chinese originario) which shows a medium-height, “semifino”, awnless pearl grain. Maratelli shows a high seedling vegetative vigor, quite a good tiller index (7 fertile stems/plant), good cold tolerance at germination stage, medium cold tolerance at flowering stage.

The life of Maratelli Rice[edit]

Maratelli rice was “born” at Asigliano V.se (Vercelli) in the autumn of 1914 when the rice farmer Mario Maratelli sees a rice plant in the field which is different from all the other plants of the Chinese Originario he is growing in that field. The plant has longer panicles, is droopier and has a larger number of grains. The panicles are yellow which is typical of full ripening and therefore near to harvesting. These panicles are different from the other panicles in the fields in that they have matured early whereas the others are hardly yellow and not mature. The rice farmer Maratelli picks these already mature panicles, he isolates them, he packs them to preserve them with the intention of sowing these “different” kernels the following year.The next year he sows the few kernels on an isolated plot of land and closely follows all the biological phases of the plants which germinate from them.He takes note of the tiller index of the mother plants and also, above all, the early ripening in comparison to the other cultivars grown. He receives confirmation of the differences he had observed the previous year and all the panicles present underlined these differences when they matured. Maratelli notes the vegetative development of the plants and compares these characteristics with those of plants from other varieties underlining certain positive aspects, these are: early maturing, better yield, better use of the land. The grains of white rice are tried in the kitchen to prepare classic dishes (risotto, panissa, rice in broth…) and once again the new rice finds wide approval in as much as it doesn’t overcook, it combines well with other ingredients and satisfies the housewives. The new variety spreads rapidly in the Vercellese lowland and in a few short years takes over from the other established varieties and imposes and maintains the record for a long time.Recently an important step has been taken to recoup and enhance the rice “invented” by Mario Maratelli in 1914. From the end of April, 2013, the original Maratelli has been inserted in the National Register of Historic Varieties.

Botanical and agronomical traits[edit]

Maratelli is an historical variety of Italian rice production, developed in 1919 through the selection of Chinese Originario by Mr Mario Maratelli from Asigliano. Maratelli is a semi-early variety (15 days earlier than Chinese originario) which shows a medium-height,“semifino”,awnless pearl grain. Maratelli shows a high seedling vegetative vigor, quite a good tiller index (7 fertile stems/plant), good cold tolerance at germination stage, medium cold tolerance at flowering stage. Stem: average height is 90-110 cm, strong and resistant to lodging. Leaf: light green colour. Panicle: open, semi droopy attitude. Average length 20 cm, with 90-110 kernels per panicle. Spikelet: yellow colour, pigmented point and awnless.Spikelet biometric data: 7,8 mm length and 3,7 mm width. 1000 kernel weight is 32, 2 gr. Kernels: white pericarp, pearl endosperm (lateral pearl and irregular shape).Kernel biometric data: 5,6 mm length and 3,2 mm width.1000 kernels weight is 24,1 gr.

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