Calasparra rice

Bomba rice is what I prefer to use in my paellas - it seems more forgiving when it comes to liquid ratio during cooking and I love the plump and chew of the grains.

The problem is my local store only had Calasparra rice and now I’m stuck with a whole bag. Not a fan, but I don’t want throw it out.

Would appreciate any tips and recipes where Calasparra rice results are better than Bomba.

I pulled out my paella book from Alberto Herraiz to read more about Calasparra rice. It says this rice is commonly found outside Spain. It is not a variety but PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).

From the Spruce Eats:

Calasparra: Calasparra short-grain rice is grown in the area around the town of Calasparra, Murcia. Rice grown in the DO of Calasparra is called Calasparra. However, both Balilla X ​Sollana and Bomba varieties are cultivated there.

Does your bag state what variety it is?

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The extremely short and basic article on English Wikipedia mentions only one dish associated with this rice: paella. :slight_smile:

Spanish Wikipedia has very little other information, but does say Calasparra rice takes more liquid and longer cooking time - but doesn’t say compared to what.

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Arroz con Leche (aka Spanish rice pudding)

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Hi @naf

Thanks for your reply and sorry for my late response – my rice bag says “Calasparra” so it’s Calasparra rice grown in the Calasparra region. Instructions say 4:1 ratio of water to grain, but I think those instructions might be wrong. I looked around the internet and a website said 3-3.5 parts water for Calasparra, whereas 4-4.5 parts water for Bomba (which has a reputation for soaking up lots of liquid).

I’m gonna try using the Calasparra rice again for paella on Christmas, but ignore the bag’s cooking instructions.

Excellent suggestion, thanks! I’ll try making Arroz con Leche with some organic orange peel instead of lemon and pull out the blowtorch to caramelize some sugar on top.

From what I’ve read in several sources, there’s apparently no such thing. But you’ve had Bomba in the past, and clearly this is looking different to you, so you probably have some Balilla X ​Sollana. (This situation would be much like American growers advertising “Texas rice” without naming the variety.)