Brown Arborio Rice
Brown Arborio Rice is a short-grain Italian rice with a slightly chewy texture and nutty flavor. Our brown Arborio boasts short, plump grains with their brown bran layer intact, making for great flavor and a more complete nutritional profile.
Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add rice and reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 35 minutes. Turn off heat and allow rice to sit covered for 10 minutes.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
Arborio is a Japonica cultivar of the rice variety Oryza sativa. Named for a town in its historical growing region in Italy, Arborio is a plump, oval-shaped, short-grain variety of rice. Prized for its high starch content and ability to absorb the flavors it is paired with, Arborio is primarily used in the Italian dish risotto.
Rice was introduced to Europe from Asia thousands of years ago, most likely as a result of trade. While ancient Greeks and Romans did not consume rice as food, it was used medicinally as a treatment for intestinal ailments. By 1533 Venetian law ended an excise tax on rice, which was previously categorized as an exotic spice. Rice production increased significantly in Northern Italy thanks to a climate and geography perfectly suited for rice production. By the turn of the 20th century, Italy was Europe's leading rice producer— just as it is today.
Thomas Jefferson was one of the first Americans to bring Arborio to the newly-independent United States. During his time as ambassador to France, Jefferson ventured to northern Italy. Despite laws prohibiting “the exportation of rough rice on pain of death," he stole an iron tooth from a rice pestle and stuffed his pockets with of unhusked rice grains. The grains eventually made their way to the colonies and to Jefferson's own estate, where they were planted without success.
As international travel became accessible to more Americans in the 20th century, demand for Arborio rice grew. Finally, restrictive trade laws were lifted in the late 1970's and early 1980's, allowing for the import of specialty foods from Italy. Today Arborio is grown domestically in several states.
The short, plump grains of our Brown Arborio Rice make it an excellent choice for a side dish or a bed for sauces. Brown Arborio Rice can still be used in traditional risotto preparations, but benefits from a quick parboiling before toasting and cooking in broth for the classic dish.
Unlike white Arborio rice, our Brown Arborio Rice includes the intact bran of the grain. Since the starch of the grain is not exposed, preparing risotto with brown Arborio rice via the usual method will not return the same results as using white rice. This method, which involves par-cooking the rice before beginning the traditional risotto cooking process, produces a similar end result while adding nutty flavor and extra fiber.