Food - Drink
The Ingredient Traditional Risotto Never Uses
By ALI FAGAN
Risotto is a creamy, comforting dish that is versatile and can be easily flavored with aromatics like onions cooked in butter, or a bit of extra flavor from wine, herbs, and cheese. However, there’s one ingredient often found in modern-day recipes that is traditionally not used in classic risottos from Italy.
While risotto’s creamy texture may lead you to think that cream is a crucial ingredient, it is not traditionally used. Many chefs consider adding cream to be cheating, since the starch from the slow-cooked rice itself should create the creamy texture, but cream can be added at the end for a splash of flavor.
Risotto is a dish that takes time, and the gradual addition of stock and constant stirring over low heat is what creates the creamy texture. As it cooks, the rice releases its starch to make the dish richer, which is why many consider adding cream to be a shortcut in a dish that should not have any shortcuts at all.