What rice for Paella?
Rice is an essential ingredient of Valencian cuisine. Its culture is a cultural reference of great importance in the community of Valencia, and in the kitchen it offers a multitude of tasty combinations. At all times, it has been cooked with all kinds of ingredients in earthen dishes on the fire or baked, and it was also used a lot in desserts. This is why he is considered the king of Valencian gastronomy, reaching the appellation delicatessen product on an international scale.
So what rice does it take for a paella?
Whatever your paella recipe use Valencia rice! Round rice certified D.O. Arroz de Valencia (the equivalent of our A.O.C.).
- Only the rice of Valencia captures with success the flavors left by the ingredients in the broth.
- Only this rice gets a nice outfit without sticking!
It is not for nothing that the paella has become an international dish 🙂 In 2nd choice round rice of any … But never long rice or Chinese / Viet / Thai!
The characteristics of Valencia rice for paella
The culinary quality of rice depends on several factors:
- its resistance to open and thus the large amount of water it absorbs without exploding during cooking.
- the ability to assimilate the flavor of the ingredients ceded to the broth of cooking.
- the very small amount of defective grain or broken.
Here are some things you should keep in mind before choosing your rice. The particularity of the rice of Valencia, lies in the fact that its grain is short and homogeneous, but also in the uniformity of its cooking. This rice is strongly beaded. The so-called “pearl of rice” is actually its starch concentration giving it its white color. All these grains absorb the broth very well, offer a texture and a very pleasant flavor, fulfilling to perfection their fundamental attribute: to recover all the flavors. These qualities convert Valencia rice into the ideal element for the production of the best-known dish of Valencian gastronomy: paella.
Rice varieties for paella
There are three varieties of rice in the region of Valencia, they are all adapted to the climatic characteristics of the region and bear the designation of origin. We find :
– the Senia-Bahía often simply called “round rice” even if all the rice of the A.O.C. Valencia are round. Under this name are the parent varieties: Gleva, J.Sendra and Montsianell. These are grains that absorb the flavors in an extraordinary way, which have a “creamy” texture and which once cooked remains very “juicy”.
– The Bomba is a very old variety whose first references date from 1913. Its production, very limited, is nevertheless maintained during all these years, thanks to its unique behavior. Like all A.O.C rice. Valencia, it absorbs even more flavors than any rice in the world. But the Bomba is characterized by its firm and loose grain after cooking. And during the minutes of rest, it acquires even more consistency. Another advantage: its resistance makes it support over-cooking.
– The Albufera is characterized by its extreme unctuousness when cooked, while keeping a firm texture. It remains moist on the surface while its grain remains consistent. And once removed from the fire, it no longer evolves and it maintains intact its organoleptic qualities.
The most popular of the three for paella has always been Bomba rice. The latter is often called the “King of Rice” for its excellent culinary quality perfectly suited to dry rice like paella. But the recent creation by crossing, of Albufera which combines the best characteristics of the two others, will surely change the deal.
Where to buy good rice for your paella?
You will easily find a lot of typical Valencia products and brands on our online store:
The designation of origin of rice for paella
All varieties of Valencia rice are covered by an appellation of origin. It offers an infinity of combinations for local cuisine, fulfilling its main role to perfection: you discover the full range of flavors that make up the much touted diet of Valencia. The appellation of origin requires the exclusive cultivation of local varieties and each pack of rice identified with the label of A.O. “Arroz de Valencia” guarantees a uniform grain content, which will result in a uniform response in the kitchen. Finally, to be honest, here are some famous brands in my region of Valencia:
And some high-end brands:
To name just a few …
The origin of Valencia’s rice: history & geogephy.
This cereal of Asian origin, was introduced in the region of Valencia since antiquity. But it was the Moors, who occupied the region for 500 years, who improved their culture with the network left by the Romans. Since then, the area of La Albufera has become one of the main producers of Spain. You will find on this page beautiful pictures of this part of the Valencia region. The production area includes the communal territories belonging to the zone of influence of the Natural Park of La Albufera, in the province of Valencia, but it is also cultivated in the municipalities of Beniparrell, La Alcudia, Oliva, Pego and Sagunto.