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Calasparra Rice - does it match the hype?

 
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2004 3:30 pm    Post subject: Calasparra Rice - does it match the hype? Reply with quote

originally a starblvd post by MEF, May/14/2004 11:08:51 [-05 EST]
related page: http://www.tienda.com/food/rice.html

So, is the high profile given the rice grown in the Valencia area of Spain, and touted as THE only rice to use in the classic paella warrented? YES! I recently watched an episode of "The Best" on the Food Network in which Paul Merrett mentioned that Callaspara rice was essential to the dish he was preparing. Right away I set out to hunt for this elusive rice. I found it in a high end food store here in Toronto at $9.00/Kg. I prepared a paella using the directions found at PaellaPans.com and the results was just one step short of eating heaven. The Bomba variety of the Callaspara does not break down in the way that Italian rices (like Carnaroli) into creaminess does (for risottoes).




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2004 3:31 pm    Post subject: paella made with the wrong rice Reply with quote

paella made with the wrong rice
originally a starblvd post by llizard, May/15/2004 15:26:27 [-05 EST]
related page: our paella recipe: http://etherwork.net/recipes/chickenrice.html#paella

While I'm sure that paella made with Calasparra Rice is wonderful, we really like paella when it's made with long grain Thai rice. (I'm assuming that Calasparra is shortgrain) But I'm sure the Paella Police would fine us heavily if they found out so please don't tell.

We have used shortgrained arborio in the past and maybe that was our mistake. We really didn't like the way that it turned to mush. Next time we have a hankering to make paella, we'll keep Calasparra in mind. Thanks for the tip.


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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2004 3:33 pm    Post subject: Calasparra Story Reply with quote

Calasparra Story
originally a starblvd post by MRF, May/15/2004 17:19:20 [-05 EST]

Here is a more complete and florid decription:
Quote:

In the mountains of Murcia is a region around the town of Calasparra that grows an ancient strain of rice that matures very slowly. The mature rice is exceedingly lacking in water, and absorbs three times its volume in broth rather than twice, as is the case with the rice that we are used to. Rice from the Calasparra region has been assigned Denomination of Origen status in recognition its unique characteristics and high production standards. Of the two types of classic rice grown in Calasparra, Bomba is the supreme strain. Until recently it was a variety that had all but disappeared because of the intensive care it needs to grow. Chefs, however, created a demand, and today Bomba is once more cultivated for the pleasure of discriminating food lovers. The basic difference between Bomba rice and others is that Bomba does not expand longitudinally, like other rice strains, but in width, like an accordion. It does not become pasty after cooking, as typically happens with other short grain rices (other than its sister Calasparra rice). It has a wonderful consistency and flavor. When only the best of the best will do. -Note: You will need a third more water or broth than for regular rice. Ratio- 3:1


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PostPosted: Mon 18 Oct, 2004 3:34 pm    Post subject: independent report on the paella Reply with quote

independent report on the paella
originally a starblvd post by Mrs MEF, May/15/2004 17:56:00 [-05 EST]

Maybe not completely independent... I had tried making paella once myself, and not been pleased with the results; especially annoying had been the fact that I didn't get a crust on the bottom of the pan. My main mistake was trying to use too much rice.

The success of Mr MEF's paella was probably partly to the fact that he used the right amount of rice, AND that we finally had a real paella pan, AND that he is a dab hand at this kind of thing. But the rice WAS really really wonderful. It expanded latitudinally just like it says, but it didn't get at all creamy (urgh, I hate risotto) or soft. Best of all, there was a crust!

Next time (I hope it's soon), I'll try to do a better job of convincing Mr MEF that it's better to eat it straight out of the pan than dishing it up onto plates. He did agree that the bits we scraped off the pan at the end of the meal did taste better.


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