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Much difference in Carnaroli or Vialone rice brands? Any preferences?

maria lorraine Feb 22, 2013 12:21 AM

Would love to hear your thoughts on good brands of carnaroli and vialone nano.

Is there much difference in the amount of milky starch (amylopectin) that's exuded? Texture? Flavor? Mushiness?

Is Vialone Nano the best for a creamy risotto?
Does organic make a difference?

I use this type rice for several purposes. Just went through a box of Roland, but think there might be a better brand. I want to buy a big bag based on recommendation.

Primoriso, Acquerello, Lotus, Roland, others? Thanks.

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    ChiliDude Feb 22, 2013 04:40 AM

    I can't answer this question because the only kind of short grained rice readily available in our area is Arborio. That's what use for risotto, but I have heard of the two varieties.

    I'm the risotto cook, and my wife demands creaminess. To achieve that I use lots of butter and Parmigiano Reggiano.

    Where do you find the 2 varieties for which you want answers other than the internet?

    1. Gio Feb 22, 2013 06:49 AM

      Maria Lorraine, I have bought Carnaroli rice from Fromaggio Kitchen in Cambridge MA. All their Italian rice is imported from Italy. Here's a link to their on-line description of Carnaroli:

      http://www.formaggiokitchen.com/shop/...

      The Carnaroli I use is indeed very creamy and has a rich full bodied flavor. It's known as the caviar of Italian rices. The starch of the Carnaroli rice is the one most rich in amilose. But when I can't get to Formaggio I find that Aborio from TJ's is an adequate substitute, especially if I use my good, strong chicken stock, a sufficient amount of butter, a dry white wine, and a very good Pecorino Romano. Trader Joe's Aborio is imported from Italy.

      Vialone nano is the preferred rice of the Veneto region. for some reason. It absorbs twice its weight in liquid so does create a creamy risotto. I've never used it, though. There's another risotto rice that's being introduced here... Baldo Rice. Apparently the grains are "sticker" than other rices. The last I know of is Padano. Padano and Vialone Nano are in the Italian classification group called Semifino, while Arborio, Baldo, and Carnaroli in the Superfino group which is the highest classification..

      1. monavano Feb 22, 2013 06:52 AM

        I can just add that for me, switching to Carnaroli rice transformed my risotto from suddenly starchy and clumpy, to creamy, individual grains of rice.
        Vialone Nano did not have quite that result for me, but it still worked better than arborio.
        Again, for me, Carnaroli made me want to try risotto at home again.

        1. h
          HillJ Feb 22, 2013 06:55 AM

          I wish you had added this info to the Home Cooking Dish of the month going on right now.

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