The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat risotto. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What risotto etiquette is

Risotto etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat risotto. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve risotto to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat risotto at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to serve and eat risotto

What you should know about risotto

Risotto is an Italian dish made with Arborio rice, cooked slowly in broth until it becomes creamy and tender.

Risotto is typically creamy, with a slightly firm texture and a nutty flavor. The appearance of risotto is often a pale yellow color, but it can be influenced by the ingredients added to it.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat risotto

1) How to store risotto

To store cooked risotto, place it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. It is best to store risotto in the fridge. You can keep it for up to 4 days. In the freezer, you can keep it for up to 3 months. However, risotto may lose its flavor and texture.

2) How to clean risotto

There is no need to clean the rice for risotto.

You can tell when risotto has gone bad if it smells sour or has a strange odor.

3) How to prepare & cook risotto

Risotto should be cooked before eating. It can be prepared in a variety of ways, but the most common way is to cook it slowly in broth. A large pot and a wooden spoon are typically used to cook risotto.

Risotto is vegan-friendly. It is not keto or paleo-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content. There are no common allergies or food intolerances associated with risotto. However, people with gluten intolerance should avoid eating it. There are no religious dietary restrictions that forbid eating risotto.

4) How to serve & present risotto

Risotto is appropriate for both formal and informal meals. It is typically best to serve it as a main course. In Italian etiquette, it is unusual to serve it as an appetizer or side dish.

Serve risotto hot and in a bowl. A serving spoon is the most appropriate tool for serving risotto. You can complement risotto with a variety of foods, including vegetables, herbs, and cheeses. It pairs well with a variety of seasonings, including salt, pepper, and garlic.

5) Food and wine to pair risotto with

Risotto pairs well with a variety of vegetables and fruits, including mushrooms, peas, and butternut squash. It is best to avoid citrus fruits or vegetables with high water content.

You can add cheese and dairy products to risotto to add flavor and richness. Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano are common additions to risotto. Risotto can be paired with meat, cured meat, fish, and seafood. It is unusual to pair it with chicken or poultry.

Risotto pairs well with both red and white wines. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are popular choices. It does not typically pair with Rosé wine, sparkling wine, dessert wine, beer, or spirits.

6) How to eat risotto

Eat risotto with a fork or spoon. It is not polite to eat risotto with your fingers.

Risotto etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common risotto etiquette mistakes:

  • 8/10. Slurping.
  • 8/10. Using your fingers.

Additional information for properly serving risotto

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.

The number of calories in risotto varies depending on the ingredients used. A typical serving of risotto contains around 200 calories, while 100 grams of risotto contains around 130-160 calories

How to buy the best risotto

A crucial factor in risotto etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Risotto is generally available all year round. However, it is most common during the fall and winter months.

Choose the best

Risotto is available in commerce in various forms, including fresh, canned, and dried. Fresh risotto is usually in the refrigerated section of specialty food stores or supermarkets. Canned and dried risotto is more commonly found in the rice section of grocery stores.

Some popular types of risotto include mushroom risotto, seafood risotto, truffle risotto, and asparagus risotto.

When buying risotto, look for high-quality ingredients and a balanced flavor profile. Good quality risotto will have a creamy texture and a rich, savory flavor. Check the ingredients list to make sure that only natural ingredients are used and avoid those with artificial flavors or additives. Look for brands with a good reputation for quality and taste.

Alternatives to risotto

Some common alternatives to risotto include pasta dishes such as spaghetti or fettuccine, paella, pilaf, and quinoa bowls.