What is Arborio rice?
It is an Italian short-grain rice, named after a town of the same name in the Po Valley in northern Italy, between Turin and Milan and not far from the Swiss border. The town of Arborio is where the rice was originally grown. However it is also grown in California and Texas in the United States.
What does it taste like?
When boiled, the rounded rice grains are delicious, with a firm, creamy and chewy mouth feel. Arborio rice has a higher amylopectin starch content, but its starchy taste blends nicely with other flavors. It is the primary rice used to make risotto. It also makes a fantastic rice pudding. The rice is primarily used in Italian cooking.
How is Arborio rice cooked?
Just like with pasta, Arborio rice is prepared al dente. This means it should be slightly firm when chewed. It is a little bit less done compared to white rice which tends to be cooked a little longer and tends to be softer when done. Arborio rice should cooked for about 18 minutes in clear fresh water. It is done when the grains are tender on the outside and firm in the center.
What flavors should I match with Arborio rice?
The rice matches really nicely with artichokes, crab, asparagus, beets, mushrooms, peas, saffron, shallots, shrimp and other shellfish, veal, wine, pumpkin, and truffles. It is also magnificent with Parmesan cheese.
Where can I buy Arborio rice?
Arborio rice is generally not hard to find in metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada. It is usually available at your local grocery store (or in some cases your gourmet grocery store) and also can be found online. Get it on Amazon.
So now you know. The next time someone asks: What is Arborio rice? You’ll be able to answer them with authority, and look like the culinary rock star you are!.