1. Almost all rice is categorized as "long", "short", or "med"; which simply refers to their length. Long grain rice is about 4 to 5 times long as they are wide, while short grain rice is almost round. Let’s imagine rice as people. Let’s say long grain rice would be played by someone like Cindy Crawford; while Mr.Short Grain would be played by Danny Devito. How’s that for a visual?!
2. The shorter the grain the starchier the rice.
3. When making dishes like Risotto, high starch content is essential. The starch released from the rice is what gives risotto its signature creaminess.
4. In general, short grain rice can be used in place of any other short grain rice in recipes, and the same goes for long grains. So feel free to sub Jasmine for Basmatti and Arborio for Calasparra, everyone will get along just fine.