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Wikileaks: John Podesta's Emails Offer the Secret to Creamy Risotto

A new trove of Clinton camp emails unveils a culinary myth

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton Attends Meetings With Legislators  On Capitol Hill Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton’s emails have been the subject of much debate over the past year or so — now, a new trove of emails unearthed by Wikileaks is sure to add fuel to the fire. And that fire will be used to make creamy, gooey risotto, John Podesta-style.

A few things have already come to light as a result of the most recent data dump of emails from those in the Clinton camp. Among them that Podesta, the chairman of Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, is apparently a big fan of risotto. So much so that others come to him for advice on how to perfect the dish.

In an email with Peter Huffman, a former senior official within the Clinton Foundation in Africa, Podesta shares the secrets:

Risotto is a finicky thing, with most recipes calling for a laborious sequence of events: pre-heat a pot of stock, then slowly add it to a separate pan of rice, a quarter-cup at a time. Stir until the stock is absorbed by the rice, then do it again, until all the stock is used up and your arm feels like it’s going to fall off.

Naturally, Huffman had a question that’s probably been on any risotto-maker’s mind after 30 minutes of stirring: Why can’t you just add all of the stock at once?

"The slower add process and stirring causes the rice to give up its starch which gives the risotto its creamy consistency," writes Podesta in his reply. "You won’t get that if you dump all that liquid at once."

Unfortunately for Podesta, that’s not entirely accurate. According to The Food Lab, the notion that broth should only be added to risotto gradually, to release the starch, is a myth: "Most of the starch that thickens a risotto resides in fine particles on the surface of the rice from the very beginning — stirring and jostling have little to do with its release."

However, stirring risotto is still a good idea. But, as Food Lab points out, only for one reason: "Even cooking is the only reason to stir risotto."

The Food Lab: The Road To Better Risotto [SE]

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