Valencia Rice
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Valencia Rice is another of those Rice types which is really a category and not a specific cultivar of Rice.

Valencia Rice, or Arroz de Valencia, refers to those types of Rice grown in Valencia, Spain, the ground-zero of Paella, under a Protected Geographical Indication. The specific cultivars grown in Valencia are all Medium Grain Rice and include: Bomba Rice, Bahía Rice, Senia Rice, Fonza Rice, Gleva Rice, and Albufera Rice.

Bahia Rice and Senia Rice have different sized Rice kernels but are otherwise similar to Bomba Rice, except that they also have a higher crop yield and can be sold for less money. The Bahia Rice and the Senia Rice are also more resistant to overcooking. Fonza Rice and Gleva Rice are in roughly the same boat and are similar to Bomba Rice and good for Paella. Albufera Rice is a newer variety that has the creaminess of the Bahia and Senia but which is better at resisting overcooking.

Season

Valencia Rice is sown in the Spring and harvested in the Fall.

Cultivation

See Smart Kitchen’s General Rice Resource for more Rice cultivation information.

Production

By volume, the Valencia region of Spain produces virtually all of Spain’s Rice. If you visit the region you will see miles of still water by the Mediterranean coast which are actually the paddies of Valencia Rice.

See Smart Kitchen’s General Rice Resource for more Rice production information.

Purchasing

If you see the words "Arroz de Valencia" on a bag or box of Rice without any other explanation, it is a safe bet that the pack contains either Fonsa Rice, Gleva Rice, Senia Rice, Bahia Rice, or a combination of them. The savvy Spanish merchants won’t include the more expensive Bomba Rice without announcing that fact on the labels.

If you can’t find Valencia Rice at your local store then check a Specialty Grocer, a Spanish Market, or the Internet. We have purchased and used  Valencia Rice and the organic Valencia Rice (these links go to Amazon) and been happy with the results. Both are imported from Italy and at less cost. Valencia Rice is aged and considered the Rolls Royce of Risotto Rice (this link also goes to Amazon).

Valencia Rice is generally available as White Rice in prepackaged containers.

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. Broken grains are smaller than whole grains and the two sizes won’t cook uniformly together, making your final dish a mess of overdone and underdone Rice.

Storage

Valencia Rice is typically found as a White Rice type, which is a dried Grain that doesn’t require very much diligence to store. An unopened container of White Valencia 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 Valencia 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 Valencia 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

Valencia Rice can mean Bomba Rice or a combination of the other cultivars grown in Valencia. We will assume for this section that you have purchased a package of Valencia Rice and not Bomba Rice (see Purchasing below).

Valencia Rice is most often considered for use in Paella but can also be used in other Spanish Rice dishes such as Arroz Negro and Arroz Banda.

The trick with Valencia Rice is to make sure that you don’t overcook it because it gets softer more quickly. You will need to watch it with some focused attention. You also have to mind the ratio of liquid to Rice and measure out your liquid and rice carefully. Valencia Rice requires 3-4 Cups of liquid for each cup of Rice. Valencia Rice is best cooked with Cooking Sticky Rice Exercise Method

Substitutes

Bomba Rice

Nutritional Value

Serving Size 1/4 cup (43 g)

Calories 150

Calories from Fat 0

Total Fat 0 g 0%

Saturated Fat 0 g 0%

Cholesterol 0 mg 0%

Sodium 0 mg 0%

Carbohydrates 33 g 11%

Dietary Fiber 0 g 0%

Sugars 0 g

Protein 3 g

Iron 6%

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes