On the weekend of September 17 & 18, European Rice was at the center of the 86th International Exhibition of Thessaloniki, in a partnership between two of the most important rice producers from Greece and Spain.
The Festival was held within the framework of the European program entitled “Actions to Inform and Promote Sustainable Rice Production in Greece and Spain” with the distinctive title “EU RICE”. The program is implemented by the Agricultural Partnership of Thessaloniki (EASTH) and the Consejo Regulador de la DOP Arroz de Valencia (CRAV) (Regulatory Authority of PDO Valencia rice), with the executive organization NOVACERT ltd.
Inside the TIF exhibition complex and between stands 10 and 13 outside, the hundreds of visitors were informed about the contribution of rice cultivation to the conservation of wetlands, the utilization of abundant water resources, and the maintenance of the sustainability of soils. In addition, the Rice Festival highlighted the importance of rice in the ecological balance, but also in the socio-economic development of its cultivation and production areas.
At the same time, those who were at the TIF stands had the opportunity to try unique rice-based recipes from the program’s chefs. In detail, their special dishes were served to the public by chef Vangelis Asimakopoulos, chef Dimitris Stachtaris, chef Stelios Kantzoutas, Mr. Pavlos Dafis from the Greek Culinary Professionals Association, chef Smaragda Makri, chef Yiannis Katsantonis, chef Yiannis Giannakaras as well as the Chalastra Youth Center with Mrs. Maria Trapsioni.
Particularly important was the presence of the program’s chef & food ambassador, Mrs. Dina Nikolaou, who introduced the Festival’s visitors to the love of rice with her delicious dishes. Finally, the guests had the opportunity to taste the famous Paella Valenciana, which was cooked and presented to the public by the Spanish chef Ruben Fenollar Tomas.