Named after the area in Italy where it was originally cultivated, Arborio rice is a variety of short-grain rice used primarily in the preparation of risotto. Arborio rice is short, fat, and slightly oval-shaped with a pearly white exterior.
Arborio rice is high in amylopectin, a starch present in rice. Because it undergoes less milling than ordinary long-grain rice, Arborio retains more of its natural starch content. Cooking the rice releases this starch, resulting in a firmer, chewier, and creamier rice compared to other kinds of rice.