Yes, and you can make truffles with carob, strawberry shortcake with Cool Whip, and your teenage daughter can go on a date this Saturday night with a member of the Hell’s Angels instead of the clean-cut, reliable boy next door whom you’ve watched grow up over the years and is not covered with tattoos and pierced pretty much everywhere.
But the thing about Arborio rice (and the other two Italian rices that are classcally used in risotto, Carnaroli and Vialone Nano) is it has a high starch content, which is released gradually as you stir in cup after cup of hot stock, resulting in the creamy texture that, frankly, is the whole point of making risotto.
You will not get that result with regular white rice. You’ll have a flavored rice dish that may be delicious, but it will not be a creamy risotto. And of the three, Arborio rice is not at all hard to find – it is available in many, many supermarkets, natural foods stores, and gourmet shops.