Is the white “eye” in risotto rice the germ? I’ve read it remains crunchy. Why?

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It’s true that risotto rice varieties like vialone nano, carnaroli & arborio do have a little white spot that appears when the rest of the grains turn semi-transparent near the beginning of the cooking process.  Because they are polished – a process that removes the bran and germ – it’s unlikely that this is the germ.

If you taste your risotto and it is still crunchy, this is an indicator that it is under cooked.

– Question Submitted by RM

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6 Responses to “Is the white “eye” in risotto rice the germ? I’ve read it remains crunchy. Why?”

  1. 1
    RM says:

    What is this white eye?
    I read after cooking it has a bite or crunch due to this white eye.

  2. 2
    Matthew says:

    Hi RM,

    To be honest, I’m not sure what causes the white “eye”. I can tell you that your risotto rice should not have parts that are crunchy once cooked. That’s a sign that you need to continue cooking it.


  3. 3
    RM says:

    Do Italians eat risotto with unpolished rice? Or make it from other grains, not rice?

  4. 4
    Matthew says:

    Hi RM,

    Though it’s less common, they do indeed use less polished rice – our integrale risotto rice for a less polished option which offers a firmer texture, nuttier flavor, and more nutrients. Risotto is also made with farro (emmer berries) in Italy – the dish is called “farrotto”.

    For a really unusual option, you can also make risotto from fregola sarda – a sort of Italian toasted couscous. Check out our risotto-style fregola recipe.


  5. 5
    suraj says:

    Please give me the photo difference between normal rice and white eye rice

  6. 6
    Matthew says:

    Hi Suraj,

    I’m afraid we don’t have a photographic example handy. I’ll see if I can describe it a little more clearly.

    The “eye” that the original questioner refers to (I’ve never heard it called that before, so I’m not sure it’s an official term) is a little fleck of white left suspended in some rice as it turns semi-translucent during cooking.

    I hope that helps.

    Marx Foods