Italian Arborio Rice
Arborio rice is renowned for its firm and creamy cooked texture, perfect for combining with flavors in risotto. We source excellent high-starch, pearly white short grains of rice grown for us in Northern Italy for our Italian Arborio Rice.
Heat 4 cups liquid to simmer. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a separate 1-quart pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup minced onion and stir for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup Italian Arborio Rice and stir for 2 minutes to toast. Sprinkle in 1 tsp. salt. Stir in 1/2 cup white wine and cook until absorbed. Stir in 1/2 cup stock. Cook until absorbed, stirring frequently. Repeat with remaining stock until risotto is creamy and tender (some stock may be leftover). Stir in diced cold butter and grated Parmesan cheese to taste.
Storage & handling
Store in cool, dry place.
Arborio is a Japonica cultivar of the rice variety Oryza sativa. Named for a town in its historical growing region of Northern 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 use rice as food, it was consumed 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 well suited to rice production. By the turn of the 20th century, Italy was Europe's leading rice producer— just as it is today.
Thomas Jefferson was the first 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. Today Arborio is grown domestically in California and Arkansas.
Arborio, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are classic Italian risotto rice. This version creates a rich base of Porcini Mushrooms, sweet peas and a finish of aromatic White Truffle Oil.