'Gustare' is defined as 'to taste' too. I'm no expert in Italian, but I'm going on what I found.
I'd strongly advise you to use a dictionary with lots of examples in different contexts. Try https://dizionari.repubblica.it/Italiano-Inglese/P/provare.html (most reliable) and http://www.wordreference.com/iten/provare (best user interface). Check out gustare and assaggiare while there. You'll find that the latter focuses only on test, sample, etc. whereas the other two mean different things in different contexts.
Both of them also have native Italian dictionaries (Italiano tab in one, "Italian definition" dropdown button in the other). There you get a better sense of the word, e.g. gustare is more about pleasure than testing.
I think the problem here is that Duo is sticking to literal translations to be safe, or whatever for. Yes, of course "tries the rice" carries the sense of 'to taste', as in, "the woman tastes the rice", but I think Duo is marking it as incorrect because it's not a literal translation.
Note the last example.
From Word Reference: EN->IT
try [sth] (taste) provare, assaggiare: "Why not try our delicious King Crab salad?" Perché non provi la nostra deliziosa insalata di granchio gigante?
From Repubblica: IT->EN
provare (= assaggiare) to sample, to taste, to test: provare un prodotto prima di acquistarlo "to sample/to test a product before buying it"; prova questo vino! "taste this wine!"
Right! But if you look at the spelling it also looks a bit like the English prove and actually both, the Dutch and the English word, mean the same as provare. The Roman Empire left quite some marks in the European (and thus North American) languages. Weird enough DL isn't aware of that fact and rejects "The Woman proves the rice"
http://dict.woxikon.com/en-it/provare among others
provare (o) [generale] have a go (o) [generale]
provare (v) [qualità] put to test (v) [qualità]
Just because a word has numerous dictionary meanings does not itself mean that you can use all of them in any context. If you can find a genuine sentence with "prove" as the verb and "rice" as the object, hats off to you!
Rather than a dictionary that gives you no context, try using WordReference or the magnificent Hoepli dictionary at http://dizionari.repubblica.it/Italiano-Inglese/P/provare.php, where you'll find more than enough examples of try, test, prove, etc.
Hi malcolmissimo, usually I am aware of the numerous meaning issue and sort them out, but sometimes learning and memorizing from English to another language becomes tricky for me and I get lured into attempts to translate from out of my native language or the language of my guest-land. It's a wide playground for false friends and other sneaky buggers.
You are correct and I will put the use of provare on my "sneaky false friends from Babylon" list.
Thank you for the correction and your input, they are appreciated :)
Could you please provide a citation for that claim? I just spent a while searching the internet for this and could find nothing whatsoever backing it up, except for the possibility that the maneuver in rugby called a "try" might sometimes be made plurals as "trys." Thanks.