Considered the king or beluga of Italian rice varietals, carnaroli kernels are the largest of the Italian rice. This large oval grain contains an even higher concentration of starch resulting in superior texture and velvety smooth risotto. Because of this high starch content and the longer shape of the grain, it holds its shape better when cooked. Preferred by most chefs in Piemonte, and now by many sophisticated chefs in the US, when making a risotto where the rice is the star, such as Risotto with Champagne or Risotto with Prosciutto and Mascarpone.
The low yields and less hardy nature of Carnaroli make it much sought-after.