Over a beer with a colleague, Gregor Neumeyer had the crazy idea of growing rice in Austria. Despite a severe setback in the first year of cultivation in 2015, he has not given up. The following year he was rewarded for his persistence and the first harvest of "ÖsterReis" was brought in. A dream came true!
ÖsterReis would not exist without the support of Gregor's family and friends! From pulling weeds in the summer heat, spending nights processing and packing the rice, to coming up with new designs, the help is always unconditional.
Austrian rice is cultivated in dry rice cultivation. This means that the rice - quite the opposite of the usual image of rice cultivation - is not permanently flooded, but stands in the "dry" and is only irrigated with sun-warmed Danube water directly from the nearby Marchfeld Canal when required. This process has a number of ecological advantages and is ideal for our cultivation area in eastern Austria.
The main reason rice fields are usually flooded is to suppress weeds. At ÖsterReis, the fields are not flooded, which is why the weeds have to be removed manually, without pesticides.
As soon as the rice plant starts flowering in August, you know that things are getting exciting and about a month later the harvest will start. After harvesting, the rice grain is first freed from its husk and then, especially in the case of white rice, gently polished by hand - right on the farm with a rice mill from Japan. This processing is important because only freshly polished rice develops a very special aroma and perfect cooking properties.
ÖsterReis is a medium-grain rice variety that can be used very universally. You can use it to make everything from creamy risotto to fresh sushi - it's also perfect for sweet dishes like rice pudding.