Pearly, round, fat, medium-grained Italian white rice, grown in the Lombardy and Piedmont regions of Italy. (Also cultivated in places like California and Missouri).

The key reason arborio is used for risotto is that the kernel is surrounded by a soft starch, amylopectin, that dissolves in the cooking process, combining with the stock and making the end result creamy, but with a "tooth" (the center of the kernel stays firm- but only if you add the liquid to your risotto a little at a time).

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