Rice espresso sounded very elegant. It’s dark roasted powder looked and smelled like fine coffee grounds. I found this delicious rice espresso at the Risotteria Melotti New York restaurant for few years ago. The Melotti’s are 3rd generation owners of an organic rice farm in Verona, Italy. Their expertise brought out the flavorful taste of rice that I had experienced in my childhood in Korea. From Korea to Italy, rice brings our diverse cultures together through food.
Before the modern rice cookers, rice was cooked in an iron pot directly over a wood fire. The rice at the bottom of the pot would scorch from the heat and become “roasted.” The cooked rice would be scooped off the top and served, while the roasted rice would remain in the bottom of the pot. More water was added to the pot and boiled again, allowing the water to absorb the flavor of the roasted rice. The boiled “roasted rice water” was then served after meals as a drink like rice tea.
Today we can buy pre-made roasted rice, ‘Nurungji, ‘at Asian grocery stores. This rice can also be deep fried and sprinkled with sugar to serve as a snack.