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Calasparra rice, which has a Designation of Origin, is the result of the know-how of expert farmers, who began growing this culinary treasure around 1634. The fact that it is grown in mountain areas at heights of between 350 and 500 metres above the sea level gives to the rice exceptional culinary qualities and physical-chemical characteristics thanks to the natural environment in which it is farmed.
Before they are sown, the farmers select the seeds to be used carefully. Once the rice has been harvested, a control of humidity, impurities, defective grains, etc. is taken place. It is then dried to 14% humidity and stored. Once stored, the cereal is kept in optimum conditions to be prepared later, i. e. it is conserved at a temperature of 15:C. This is achieved by means of industrial cold air equipment, which takes air from the atmosphere and once it has been cooled and the humidity removed, it is injected into the granary through under-floor air vents. This keeps the rice dry and cool, increasing its yield in the mill and avoiding granary pests. The temperature of the grain and its condition are controlled on a daily basis.
During the preparation and packaging process of the product, thorough controls are carried out to guarantee the maximum quality of the rice.
Calasparra rice stands out from other rice thanks to the following characteristics:
- Hardness of the grain as a result of natural dehydration.
- It does not stick together as much as other rice after it has been cooked.
- A natural product irrigated with clean water and no chemical insecticides are used.
- Higher yield than other rice due to its natural dehydration, since it absorbs a greater amount of liquid.
Calasparra rice is available as follows:
BOMBA rice: this variety has a small, round grain before cooking, during which its length and width are increased 100%. It is very resistant to sticking together. Stock absorption: 4.5 measures for each measure of rice. Cooking time: 20 minutes.
BALILLA x SOLLANA rice or CALASPARRA rice: this variety has a small grain and its length and width are increased by 70%. It is very resistant to sticking together. Stock absorption: 3.5 measures for each measure of rice. Cooking time: 20 minutes.
BIOLOGICAL BALILLA x SOLLANA rice: rice grown by farmers governed by the Regulating Council for Ecological Farming of Murcia. This category includes the following two types of rice:
Wholemeal rice, not used in Paellas, but as garnish. Stock absorption: 3.5 measures for each measure of rice. Cooking time: 45 minutes.
Semi-wholemeal rice. Stock absorption: 3.5 measures for each measure of rice. Cooking time: 20-25 minutes.