The Italian word for rice, which may include any of the various varieties grown mainly in the Po Valley in Piedmont, Italy. Arborio, Brown, Carnaroli, and Vialone Nano are the typical varieties grown in Italy. Italian rice contains a high starch content and is often used for soups and side dishes, especially in the Italian favorite, risotto, which is generally made with a super fine Italian rice, such as superfino Arborino or superfino Carnaroli rice. Since Italian rice varieties contain more starch than other types of rice, it is important not to rinse the rice before or after cooking, in order to retain the natural Italian flavor provided by the starch.
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