Only in the 1500s, thanks to Senese physician Pier Andrea Mattioli, does rice become an effective culinary ingredient. It had held the status of medicinal herb and spice until then. Varieties of cultivated rice stem from attempts, made from 1924 onward, to use grafting as a way to enhance resistance to the rice blast fungus.
Diversity characterizes both the typology of rice cultivated and the method employed for cooking it. (The preparation technique constitutes what is known as risotto.) Upon successive transformations of the cooking method, risotto takes form from the older rice soup and, in turn, evolves into different dishes. The history of risotto is that of a preparation method inflected in several possible ways. Creativity and artistry rule.