Venere Nero originates from China, where black rice or "the forbidden rice" was served exclusively to the Emperor and his court. In the 1990s, an Asian black rice variety was crossed with the Italian Padano rice – a round, medium-grained type of rice – and coined Venere Nero. This whole-grain rice is highly nutritious and has a nutty, aromatic flavour and a firm, slightly chewy texture. Once cooked, the colour shifts from glossy ebony black to rich deep violet. Venere Nero is ideal for rice salads, soups and seafood risotto.