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José Ruiz Egea ()
Calasparra rice is cultivated in the northeast of the province of Murcia and in the south of the province of Albacete, in the towns of Hellín, Moratalla and Calasparra, Spain. The water used for its irrigation comes from the Segura and Mundo rivers which irrigate the fertile rice plains.
The clean and cold waters at 400-500m above sea level, the rotation of crops in the rice paddies, and the excellent varieties of round grain (Balilla x Sollana = Calasparra Rice and Calasparra Bomba Rice), ensure that the resulting rice is considered the best in the world. This process has been covered and protected by the Calasparra D.O. since 1984.
Types: CALASPARRA BOMBA RICE
: ‘Bomba’ variety of round, small (5.2mm) grain increases its size 100% in length and width on cooking, whilst the Balilla x Sollana increases at a rate of about 70%; very resistant to sticking; 9.5% protein content; absorbtion of stock in paella (4.5 - 5 parts of stock volume to one measure of bomba rice); cooking time: 20 minutes; performance: 90gr/ration. Sold as elaborated white rice.
CALASPARRA RICE (BALILLA x SOLLANA variety):
‘Balilla x Sollana’ variety, round grain, (average length = 5.3mm); increases in size on cooking 70% in length and width; very resistant to sticking (when cultivated in Calasparra due to climate conditions of low relative humidity and fresh, clean waters); protein content of 8.5%; absorption of stock in paella (3.5 parts per volume of stock to one measure of BxS rice); cooking time: 20 minutes; performance: 100gr/ration. Sold as elaborated white rice.
ORGANICE CALASPARRA RICE (BALILLA x SOLLANA variety): The Balilla x Sollana botanical variety cultivated by associated operators (ecological farmers) and complying with the European CEE 2092/91 norm, as well as other later Spanish and local regulations. Controlled and registered by the Region of Murcia Organic Farming Board.
It is sold as:
a) Brown rice: peeled rice which conserves all the teguments (7). Not usually used for paella. Used to accompany dishes. Water absorption: 3 parts per volume of stock to one of BxS rice); cooking time: 45 minutes.
b) Semi-brown rice: peeled rice partially shaped into abrasive cones which conserve some of the grain teguments. Same use as white rice as it has the same cooking characteristics. As such, it can be used in paellas, rice pudding etc. Provides more fibre and nutritive elements (fatty acids, proteins etc) than white rice and since it is of organic nature it is the ‘ideal buy’. Water absorption (3 parts of stock volume to 1 of BxS rice; cooking time: 20 minutes.