Fat, pearly, almost round, short-grained risotto rice from Piedmont and the Po valley in northern Italy. Short-grained rice originated in Japan, while long-grained rice varieties originated in India. It is graded as superfino and can absorb a great deal of the cooking liquid without becoming too soft. This is because it is high in amylopectin, the starch that dissolves on cooking. At the same time it is low in amylose, the firm, internal starch. The rice grains are said to absorb as much as five times their volume of liquid during cooking. Arborio is a cross between Vialone and an American strain, Lady Wright.