Saturday, July 27, 2013

What is Arborio rice?

What is Arborio rice?
Arborio Rice are short, fat and slightly oval-shaped, arborio rice has a pearly white exterior. 
Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice. It is named after the town of Arborio, in the Po Valley, where it is grown. When cooked, the rounded grains are firm, creamy, and chewy, due to its higher amylopectin starch content; thus, it has a starchy taste but blends well with other flavors. It is used to make Risotto.
Now What is a Risotto?
Risotto is a class of Italian rice dishes cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. The broth may be meat, fish, or vegetable based. Many types of risotto contain butter, wine and onion. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy.
Risotto is normally a primo also known as the first course, served on its own before the main course.
A high-starch and having low amylose round medium or short grain white rice is usually used to make risotto. Such rices have the ability to absorb liquids and to release starch and so they are stickier than the long grain varieties. The principal varieties used in Italy are Arborio, Baldo, Carnaroli, Maratelli, Padano, Roma, and Vialone Nano. There are many different risotto recipes with different ingredients.
The rice is first cooked briefly with onion and butter or olive oil to coat each grain in a film of fat, called tostatura; white or red wine is added and has to be absorbed by the grains. A properly cooked risotto is rich and creamy but still with some resistance or bite known as ' al dente,' and with separate grains. [ Like pasta, arborio rice is prepared al dente, which means that it should be slightly firm to the bite].
Arborio Rice Facts:
Arborio is a short grain Italian rice.
White and brown varieties are available.
White Arborio is the most popular rice for risotto.
Arborio is named after a town in northwest Italy.
Arborio is available in Italian and domestic varieties.
Arborio contains more starch than most other rice varieties.
Domestic varieties are grown primarily in California.
Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are similar rices suitable for risotto recipes.

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