Difference between arborio and carnaroli rice

 The most crucial properties of a good risotto rice are high starch content and the ability to absorb liquid. Arborio rice has long been a traditional favorite and probably the best known rice for risotto-making. However, there are actually a number of superfino-grade Italian rices with the high starch content that gives risotto its characteristic creaminess. All these varieties have short, plump grains that are not only suitable for risotto, but which are arguably superior to Arborio.
In stirred rice dishes, such as risotto, some of the starch is released, and it is this extra starch that creates the smooth, creamy texture. The trick is to use a rice that will absorb the liquid added to it without breaking apart or sticking together, thus retaining its consistency.Carnaroli rice is an Italian variety that has short, plump grains like those of Arborio rice. Also, like Arborio rice, Carnaroli grains are high in starch content and, when cooked, have a creamy, saucelike consistency.Trendy Italians, always on the lookout for the latest culinary craze, currently prefer Carnaroli because of its firm grain.Vialone Nano is another favorite of this type. It has a medium grain, shorter and thicker than arborio, and is nearly impossible to overcook. Able to absorb more than twice its weight in liquid, Vialone Nano is perfect for creating a very hearty risotto. It also pairs nicely with fish, and is wonderful for making rice pudding.Me personally if I had just one rice to choose, it will be the Carnaroli…


Carnaroli rice is an Italian rice variety particularly known as suitable for the preparation of risotto, a typical Italian dish. Many people consider Carnaroli risotto the best risotto.
Ettore De Vecchi, a rice farmer, aimed to obtain a rice variety that was not too high (lower than that of Vialone), resistant to lodging and with good cooking resistance. To obtain the new variety, the work of a geneticist who worked with prof. Emiliano Carnaroli at the University of Milan and the work of prof. Carnaroli himself were of primary importance. But when was Carnaroli rice born? And where? Can we say more about the invention? And what are its propertiescooking timecalories and some recipes?  Can we use Carnaroli rice only for the risotto recipe? And is it better than Arborio to cook risotto? Let’s see!


When was Carnaroli rice born? How did it happen that it was given the name Carnaroli?
And who is responsible for its conservation?

The birth of Carnaroli rice
In 1945 Ettore De Vecchi, a rice grower, presented a new variety of rice: the Carnaroli.
Carnaroli rice was born in the rice fields around Paullo, near Milan.

Ettore De Vecchi worked for many years to obtain the new variety of rice, making crossings
in his fields of the 
Casello farm in Paullo.

The new variety was the result of the work not only of Ettore De Vecchi, but also of 
a breeder geneticist and of prof. Emiliano Carnaroli, with whom the geneticist
worked at the University of Milan.
Emiliano Carnaroli was a university professor of agricultural hydraulics; he collaborated
in numerous reclamation projects in Italy and was president of the Ente Nazionale Risi
(National Rice Authority). Perhaps he also personally helped financially the hybridizing
geneticist, who was working on the experiments and whom he considered very promising.
The new rice was born from the crossing of two varieties: the Vialone Nero – which had
 been discovered by grandfather Achille De Vecchi in 1903, when he resided in Vialone –
 and Lencino.

The name

Regarding the attribution of the name ‘Carnaroli’ to the new variety of rice, we found a
video, an interview with Mr. 
Achille De Vecchi. In the video, Mr. Achille De Vecchi says
that the water manager, whose surname was Carnaroli, every year used to see the
commitment of Ettore De Vecchi and the fact that he did not arrive at the desired result.
For this reason, he said: ‘Dutur, se fèm?’, that translates to ‘Doctor, what do we do?’
(here the term ‘doctor’ is not intended as title for a person holding a doctor’s degree
in medicine, but generically as a title for person who has graduated).
Ettore De Vecchi told him to be patient, and that if he could obtain the variety he had
in mind he would give it his name.

The patent and the conservation of the Carnaroli rice

With the death of Ettore De Vecchi the patent of the Carnaroli variety passed to his cousin
Achille De Vecchi, born in Milan in 1939.
Later, the De Vecchi family abandoned the production of rice, and Achille De Vecchi in 1983
gave the plant material in his possession to the 
Ente Nazionale Risi, so that the latter
continued in conservative selection.
Since then, the Ente Nazionale Risi is the conservator of Carnaroli rice in purity.