Risotto, what about the use of different kinds of rice?

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Risotto, what about the use of different kinds of rice?

Postby Anders Källberg » Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:31 pm

Lately I have become increasingly fond of risotto, and also more successful in making it myself. Maybe the success in part is due to the fact that I received some high quality rice as a gift.
As far as I know, there are three different rices used for risotto, at least in Italy, namely: arborio, carnaroli and vialone nano. During my recent risotto making I have used the latter two. They seem to have similar properties, the difference mainly being the size of the grains (the vialone nano being smaller, hence the name "nano").
It would be nice to know more about these dfferent rices, both "cold facts", as well as your personal experiences using them. Do you also use them for cooking other things than risotto?

Cheers, Anders
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Re: Risotto, what about the use of different kinds of rice?

Postby Ian Sutton » Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:01 pm

Anders
By chance I'm digging through guide books on Piemonte for a short holiday and when I stumble back across the section describing the different types of rice I'll post again.

For now though, perhaps a 1948 Italian movie "Riso Amaro" (Bitter rice) might be of interest. It describes the female rice weeders "Mondine", who were brought from (Emilio-) Romagna to work long hours during the season and the conditions they endured.

The above precis is summarised from Fred Plotkins Gourmet Traveller guide, but thought it worth posting for an unexpected slant on the subject.

Vercelli is the big centre for Italian rice production and this might be a good starting point for a web search. It apparently has the largest rice market in europe.

I'll try to post the other info as I stumble across it again.

regards

Ian
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Re: Risotto, what about the use of different kinds of rice?

Postby Niki (Dayton OH) » Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:46 pm

Hi Anders

I'm very fond of risotto, as well, and actually once did a test kitchen when friends were over helping cook with all three types of rice; making mushroom risotto. I posted the results on the old FLDG, but I recall that someone (Craig Campo, maybe), posted in response that Nano Vialone was used in Italy for seafood risotto. I seem to recall he also advised that I use more butter and cheese ;-)

I really don't see that much of a difference between the three types of rice, although I've been trying to eat more whole grains lately and recently made a version of "risotto" with barley that was quite tasty. I generally use carnaroli or arborio, since they're both easier to find here in Dayton.
Cheers,

Niki
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Re: Risotto, what about the use of different kinds of rice?

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Sep 20, 2006 12:07 am

I've tried all three kinds and I seem to get the best results overall with the vialone nano. That's not as a result of any real testing, though.


Mike

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Re: Risotto, what about the use of different kinds of rice?

Postby John Tomasso » Wed Sep 20, 2006 9:29 am

I have found that arborio results in a creamier, integrated risotto, while carnaroli and vialone nano grains tend to retain their texture, even after long cooking.
I still enjoy a well made, creamy risotto, made with arborio, but now I mostly use carnaroli; I prefer that the individual grains play a part in the finished dish.
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Re: Risotto, what about the use of different kinds of rice?

Postby Ian Sutton » Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:29 am

Anders Källberg wrote:Lately I have become increasingly fond of risotto, and also more successful in making it myself. Maybe the success in part is due to the fact that I received some high quality rice as a gift.
As far as I know, there are three different rices used for risotto, at least in Italy, namely: arborio, carnaroli and vialone nano. During my recent risotto making I have used the latter two. They seem to have similar properties, the difference mainly being the size of the grains (the vialone nano being smaller, hence the name "nano").
It would be nice to know more about these dfferent rices, both "cold facts", as well as your personal experiences using them. Do you also use them for cooking other things than risotto?

Cheers, Anders


Found the reference, albeit not much more to add:
Arborio: Most common
Carnaroli: Reckoned to give the most balanced consistency
Vialone Nano: Most popular in the Veneto
plus a few wierd and wonderful varieties grown in the area.

as an aside, it lists Italy as having 0.25% of the worlds rice market, but a staggering 42% of the european market.

There's an outside chance we might make it to Vercelli (but if the choice is between a day in Barolo or a day in Vercelli, then it's not loking good for Vercelli :lol: ). If by chance we make it I'll report back on the quality of the rice and the voraciousness of the mosquitos.

The local dish Panissa sounds interesting (rice, white beans, tomato, onion, bacon) so might be worth trying.

There may be more info at http://www.turismovalsesiavercelli.it

regards

Ian
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