Italy is Europe's largest producer of rice. The wetlands and cool temperatures of the Lombardia region harbour ideal conditions for growing the special rice. Over the centuries, resourceful Italians developed a unique cooking technique combining rice with other ingredients common to their area, resulting in the classical Italian dish known as "risotto". The key ingredient for authentic risotto is Arborio rice. Arborio's characteristics and cooking properties allow it to absorb the flavours and to retain a certain firmness through the unique "risotto" cooking procedure. The texture and cooking properties of imported Arborio rice combined with woodsy, nutlike tasting porcini mushrooms and result in this delicious Italian favourite. This dish is a wonderful accompaniment to most grilled meats, especially lamb.