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Discover Italian Rice

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Our Best Collections

Discover Italian Rice

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To say the people of the Veneto, Lombardy, and Piedmont regions are proud of the rice grown there would be a fair statement – Italy is Europe’s largest rice producer and these regions are Italy’s rice bowl. To say they are extremely proud and very serious about that most iconic of classic Italian dishes – risotto – well, that may actually be a bit of an understatement!

Get to know Italian rice

Carnaroli, Vialone Nano and Arborio – these are rice varieties grown in Italy and used for risotto. Short and plump, these grains boast high amounts of a sticky starch called amylopectin, which gives risotto that luxurious creamy texture. Carnaroli is considered the finest rice for risotto and has a longer grain than the other two. In Canada, Arborio is easy to find in most grocery stores, and Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are becoming more readily available.

10 tips for an excellent risotto


An authentic, creamy, perfect risotto takes time, the finest truly authentic Italian ingredients, a strong stirring arm, and a few insider tips.

  1. Use a deep, round pan and a flat wooden spoon with a hole in the middle for stirring.
  2. Use butter – lots of butter –both at the beginning and end of cooking.
  3. Cook everything on a low, steady heat.
  4. Toast the rice. Add it to the melted butter and allow it to cook without turning colour. You’ll be able to smell a toasty aroma.
  5. If using white wine, allow it to cook off completely before adding the first ladle of stock.
  6. Use vegetable stock, not chicken or beef, which can overwhelm the flavour of the dish.
  7. Don’t use salt until the end; and then, use a light touch!
  8. Stir in your desired additional ingredients – peas, asparagus, cooked shrimp – near the very end.
  9. Use frozen chunks of butter when finishing the risotto to make it extra creamy.
  10. Finally, flavour with finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

For more Made in Italy articles, recipes, chef profiles and cooking tips, check out our blog, A Taste of Made in Italy.
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