Spanish Rice
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Spanish Rice is mainly a designation, a grouping if you will, and not a Rice Type.

There are three main types of Rice often called “Spanish Rice”: Bomba Rice, Calasparra Rice, and Valencia Rice. For more information one each of the specific Spanish Rice types click on through to the specific resource pages.

Each is a different breed of Rice with slightly different characteristics but they are all from Spain and, among the 40,000 Rice types, relatively similar.

Season

Rice in Spain is sown in the spring and harvested in the Fall.

Production

Spain has cultivated Rice for over 1000 years since the Moors occupied Spain (711 AD) and introduced the crop. Spain produces close to 900,000 tons of Rice a year from 8 growing regions: Three of these have Protected Geographical Indications (Calasparra Rice, Valencia Rice, and the Delta del Ebro Rice of Tarragona-Catalonia). Less than 20% of all Spanish Rice comes from within these special protected areas.

Spanish Rice seeds are slightly moistened and then hand sown in the spring. They are harvested in fall from drained fields. Because they are produced in an organic manner there is a 2 year cycle of crop rotation.

Varieties

The primary varieties of Spanish Rice are Bomba Rice, Calasparra Rice, and Valencia Rice.

Purchasing

Spanish Rice is generally available as White Rice in prepackaged containers; in the United States we don’t often see it in bulk bins.

When purchasing Rice, always check the expiration date as Rice can go bad if stored too long.

While selecting your Rice, keep an eye out for any signs of moisture which can ruin Rice. Also, try and buy as few broken grains of Rice as possible. Your final dish will likely be a mess of overdone and underdone Rice if you cook with broken grains and whole grains: broken grains are smaller than whole grains and the two sizes won’t cook together uniformly.

Storage

Spanish Rice is typically found as a White Rice type, which is a dried Grain that doesn’t require much diligence to store. An unopened container of White Spanish Rice will keep almost indefinitely in a pantry at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or frozen.

Once opened, the only real risks to the shelf life are moisture and pests, including bugs and rats. Keeping the container sealed and airtight can protect against both of these.

Let cooked Spanish Rice (assuming it is not used in a Paella with a variety of ingredients) cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator. Cooked Spanish Rice will last about 3-5 days in the refrigerator but it is best to use it within 2 days. If it is used in a Paella, follow the Storage Guidelines for storing Paella.

Culinary Uses

Spanish Rice dishes can be divided into three types. First, there are drier dishes like table rice, Arroz a Banda, and Paella in which the Rice swells and absorbs all the Stock or other added liquid. Second, there are the creamier rice dishes like Arroz Meloso which is similar to an Italian Risotto. Third, there are the less familiar but delicious and nourishing soup dishes such as Caldo de Bogavante.

If the Spanish Rice is still crunchy at the end of the cook time then the Rice is undercooked and you may need to add 1-2 T of liquid and cook it a bit longer. If it’s falling apart then it is overcooked and you should start over. Remember, you can fix undercooking, but you can’t fix overcooking. Start checking the Rice early.

There is also a dish called Spanish Rice (sometimes called Mexican Rice) which Smart Kitchen covers in the Spanish Rice Recipe.

Nutritional Value

The Nutritional Value of Spanish Rice can be found on the Resource page for the actual variety of Rice.

Nutrition

The Nutrition Information of Spanish Rice can be found on the Resource page for the actual variety of Rice.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes