Calasparra Rice, the Secret of Spanish Paella Recipe
The rice of Calasparra is the fruit of the wisdom and work of the rice farmers using artisan and ancient techniques. It is considered the best rice in the world and unique because of its quality. We can find two varieties of this rice, the "Balilla por Sollana" and the "Bomba Rice".
The area of Calasparra, due to its privileged situation, knew the settling of many cultures as the Roman, the Muslims and the Christians who left their legacy in the agriculture practices.The first documents referring to rice in Calasparra date back to the 17th century. and during the next century occurred the definitive adaptation of rice cultivation in Calasparra.
The mountainous environment of the area, the high quality of the clean, pure and fresh water used for the rice cultivation, and the altitude above the sea level, make the ripening of the rice grain to be delayed. This gives the rice of Calasparra, the special and genuine properties that differentiate it from the rest of the rice in the market.
Calasparra rice is not cultivated in stagnant waters, but ancestral system extracts the waters from the river in such a way a fresh current is maintained, with the precise level of water at each moment. Another of the characteristics of the calasparra rice cultivation is that chemical insecticides are not used because there are no pests that affect the crop. In this ecological environment of cultivation, a traditional agriculture is practiced, with crop rotations that favor the elimination of potential plagues of insects in a natural way (breaking its biological cycle). On the other hand, this system favors the proliferation of useful insects and fauna which also control pests proliferation.
The annual production of Calasparra rice is very limited and the Protected Designation of Origin guarantees its authenticity after passing the strict quality controls. The rice of Calasparra, in particular its variety "bomba rice", stands out for the integrity of its grain when it is cooked and because it absorbs a greater amount of water increasing its size 100% and becom¡ng a consistent rice that takes the tastes of the broths in which is cooked (as is usual in the Spanish cuisine). It is the ideal rice to prepare "paellas" (in fact it is known as best paella rice), risottos and all kind of rice dishes.