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Arborio Rice

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Arborio rice salad
Andrea Sperling/Photodisc/Getty Images

Arborio Rice:

Arborio rice is a variety of short-grained rice used primarily in the classical preparation of risotto. Originally cultivated in Italy, today it's grown in California and Texas, too.

Arborio Rice Characteristics:

Short, fat and slightly oval-shaped, arborio rice has a pearly white exterior. There are various size designations, of which superfino, the largest grain size, is the one most commonly used in the United States.

Arborio Rice Starch Content:

Because it undergoes less milling than ordinary long-grained rice, it retains more of its natural starch content. Cooking releases this starch, giving risotto its creamy consistency. A pound of arborio rice can absorb up to 6 cups of liquid without becoming mushy.

Cooking Arborio Rice:

Like pasta, arborio rice is prepared al dente, which means that it should be slightly firm to the bite — which is a little bit less done than you would cook ordinary white rice. Here are a few great risotto recipes: Also, here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to make risotto.
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