Risotto Is Not Rice, In Italian


I can’t believe how many times friends, customers but also big chefs ask me: do you carry risotto? I am appalled at the ignorance. Here is the reality: Risotto is the cooked dish; rice is the grain that makes the risotto.

Riso Gazzani by Gustiamo
Riso Gazzani by Gustiamo

I wanted to kiss David Pogue, the technology guru of the New York Times, when I read he knows exactly what we are talking about. He starts his article of March 5th, with the following words: I’ll never forget the time I visited a Riverwalk restaurant in San Antonio and ordered risotto: rice that’s been stirred in broth until it’s rich, creamy and perfect. But what the waiter brought to the table wasn’t risotto. It was just rice. A bowl of yellow rice. “Oh, I’m sorry,” I said to the waiter. “I actually ordered the risotto?” The guy looked at me like I was the village idiot. “What do you think risotto means? It means ‘rice’ in Italian. That’s what you got.” To be clear, he was reviewing the new Samsung Memoir by T-Mobile. I guess he didn’t like it!

So, rice is NOT risotto. Rice is the ingredient with which you make risotto. But you can use rice to make steamed or boiled rice, which is OK, too, but it is NOT risotto. This the “rice appreciation post”. Buy one (or more) bags of our Gazzani rice and you’ll receive a discount of 20%. This offer is valid until April 10 and the magic word is “Rice, not Risotto”

Join the Conversation

  1. The initial problem was David Pogue, assumed that someone in Texas, first of all, knows the difference between Arborio rice and Uncle Ben’s converted. Come on David wake up and smell the Mexican food!! River Walk, San Antonio, Italian food??? David walk in the Restaurant Kitchen in San Antonio and look for Guiseppe, (Good Luck) Maybe Jose’ or Pepe’. That’s like ordering fish in Dodge City, Kansas. And even more, thinking a waiter would know the difference. Da, what color is the white house???

  2. I am proud to share with you my risotto, recipe of my cookbook GoodCiao.com:
    Drunken Risotto with Gorgonzola
    This risotto is enhanced by Sangiovese wine, which is produced
    in Parco Fiorito and follows a strict biological criteria.
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin
    olive oil
    1 shallot, minced
    2 cups Carnaroli rice
    2 cups Sangiovese
    5 cups vegetable stock
    31⁄2 tablespoons butter
    freshly ground pepper
    9 ounces Gorgonzola
    whole milk
    In a deep skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil.
    Add the shallot and sauté until translucent. Add the rice
    and toast, stirring, for 3 minutes. Deglaze with the wine
    and cook until it has been absorbed. Add the vegetable
    stock in 1⁄2-cup increments, allowing each addition to be
    absorbed before adding more. Cook, stirring, until the
    rice is tender and creamy. Remove from the heat, add the
    butter and season with pepper. Mix well.
    In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the Gorgonzola
    until melted. Add the milk, a little at a time, stirring,
    until creamy and smooth.
    Divide the risotto evenly among 4 individual serving
    plates. Make a well in the center of each mound of risotto
    and fill each with some of the Gorgonzola cream.
    Serves 4

  3. This sounds fabulous, and combines 2 of my favorite flavors–wine, and Gorgonzola. I’ll be making this Saturday night for a progressive dinner. Thanks!

  4. I first was taught how to make Risotto in 1970 when I was a student in Siena. My mentor had arranged for me to live with a woman that loved food and wine nearly as much as classical music, which is my profession.In the two months that I lived with her she opened my mind and tastebuds up to food and drink that where unimaginable to me at the time.My favorite cooking lesson however was when she introduced me to Risotto. 39 years later I can still recall those two hours as if they had just happened yesterday! This recipe is quite similar to hers except that we added peas to it in the final 3 or 4 minutes. I’m salivating just recalling it, and want to thank you for bringing back such great memories. I’m going to make this tonight!

  5. to Marc: i don’t agree. you can’t believe the chefs (even the so called celebrities) in NY who confuse rice with risotto. i met one just one week ago (hence, this post) and even under torture i won’t tell his name.
    to Roberto: grazie mille for the recipe. i, too, will make it. as soon as i find a good gorgonzola!

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