Arborio rice is a cultivar of the Japonica group of varieties. It is short, fat and slightly oval-shaped, with a pearly white exterior. It is named after the town of Arborio in the Po Valley, which is situated in the main growing region. When cooked, the rounded grains are firm, creamy and chewy, due to their higher starch content. This creates the ultra-creamy yet toothsome texture that is the hallmark of superior risotto.