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Risotto alla Milanese Guide

Milan, Italy

Food Guide

This aromatic risotto acquires beautiful shade of yellow thanks to the saffron threads in the mix. The Risotto alla Milanese is a specialty in Milan and is made with beef stock, beef bone marrow, lard (instead of butter) and cheese, flavored and colored with saffron.

River Po Valley is one of the largest rice producers in Europe and rice is broadly eaten throughout northern Italy. From its early use, rice has resulted into a culinary tradition that has come to include this excellent risotto.

The Legend

In 1574, the master in charge of the Fabbrica of the Milan's Duomo hired a disciple nicknamed Zafferano (Italian for saffron) because he used saffron to stain the glass gold. The master kidded, "You'll be putting saffron on your risotto next!"; well, one day, after many years of teasing, the young man decided to play a trick on his master, whose daughter was to be married: he bribed the cook and sprinkled a little yellow powder in the risotto for the wedding dinner. Just imagine the amazement of the diners at the table when a pyramid of yellow risotto was served: some took courage and tasted, and then another, and another, and in the blink of an eye the huge mountain of yellow rice disappeared: the "risotto alla milanese" was born.