SPANISH MEDITERRANEAN DIET - FOODS, RECIPES & BENEFITS
A way of eating based on traditional foods
Calasparra rice is substantially different than what most people are accustomed to. Natural, specialized breeding has produced a short, oval grain of rice with a low starch content. A native of Spain, it’s the best rice for cooking traditional paella, especially the Bomba variety.
The Bomba strain of Calasparra rice is grown without the use of herbicides, pesticides, and no chemicals are added when the grain is processed. Bomba is the most highly sought for Spanish dishes, particularly paella, and carries the protected designation of "Denominación de Origen".
The strain of rice produces low yields when compared to other varieties when grown for commercial use, making it one of the most costly and highest quality available. It’s an ancient line that takes substantial time to mature before it can be harvested. It’s sensitive, requires specialized care to flourish, and is only grown in a single region of Spain. For a time, it was feared the strain would go extinct.
The grain is able to absorb up to three times its volume in liquid without falling apart, making it perfect for letting flavors permeate the rice. The amount of liquid it absorbs means extra water is required for cooking. Unlike other types of rice that expand sideways when cooked, the Bomba variety expands length wise and maintains its shape, creating a more appealing appearance.
When preparing Bomba rice for cooking, don’t give it a rinse as it will affect the overall texture when it’s done. Approximately ½ a cup of rice (100g) should be used for each person. When fully cooked, the grains of rice should be separate from each other and never stuck together. A good way to determine when Bomba rice is done is to extract a grain and cut in in half. When there’s no clear difference between the outer grain of rice and the inside kernel, it’s done.
The unique properties of the Bomba variety of Calasparra rice has earned it a coveted place in its native Spain and around the world where haute cuisine is served. Its ability to absorb the flavors of the dishes it’s paired with, and superior ability to hold its shape, makes it a standout in any kitchen.