Risotto is a beautiful rice-based dish often enjoyed in Italian restaurants in Dublin like https://www.forno500.ie/ and other locations around the world. It is a traditional North Italian dish and is thought to date back to the 1800s.
Rice was grown in Italy as far back as the 14th Century, and it was predominantly located in the South of the country. Eventually, this reached the city of Milan in the North, and from here, it started to peak interest. There is a legend that a glassblower in Milan added a touch of saffron to a rice dish at a wedding feast. He used saffron as a colouring in his work, and he was curious as to whether this would also colour the rice. This, of course, has never been formally confirmed, but it is a lovely story.
The first formal recipes for risotto appeared in 1809, and it included the rice, sausages and onions mixed together in a broth with the addition of saffron. This was then slowly boiled down until it developed the creamy consistency that we have come to love in risotto.
The type of rice that is used in risotto is very different to the rice that is used as a side to curry-based dishes. It is a smaller, thicker grain of rice that lends itself to the slow cooking of risotto and allows for the slight crunch to be retained at the centre of the grain of rice.