Italy grows mostly short, barrel shaped rice that is different than the long-grain rice that is usually boiled or steamed. Among this type of rice are four categories based on grain size: comune, semifino, fino, and superfino. The superfino rice is the type most used for risotto, with Arborio being the most recognized outside of Italy. However, Venetian cooks prefer the Carnaroli variety, which was invented in the 1950′s. Baldo is another variety well-known for making excellent risotto and among the semifino; Vialone Nano is also popular – with the Veronese variety given a PGI designation.
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