Orzo is a type of pasta that resembles grains of rice (orzo means "barley" in Italian). Though it looks like rice and is sometimes used as a substitute, it is made from semolina flour.


Other names: Risone, Kritharaki
Translations: 欧尔佐, オルゾー, Орзо

Physical Description

Orzo pasta is a type of pasta which is made in the shape of a grain of rice. Orzo pasta is often about rice-sized, as well. This pasta is very versatile, and it can be used in a range of recipes, with many people consuming orzo in soups. Many markets carry orzo pasta, and several options may be available for consumers to choose from.


Tasting Notes

Flavors: salty, starchy
Mouthfeel: Crisp and crunchy to soft
Food complements: Pepper

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december


The word orzo is Italian for “barley,” and a reference to the size and shape of the pasta. You can also see orzo called kritharaki, manestra, rosa marina, reiskornpasta, or pasta gallo pion. This pasta is very popular in Greece especially, although it is used in other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern nations, and in some parts of Germany as well. The small size can make orzo a very fun pasta to work and cook with.

History: Because of its versatility, orzo pasta is used extensively in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes and soups. It can also be topped with pasta sauce, butter or baked into pasta shapes.


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