The Arroz de Valencia PDO is rice from the Oryza sativa species, Senia, Bahía and Bomba varieties.
The production area of Arroz de Valencia PDO covers the districts of Alicante, Castellón and Valencia in the Community of Valencia, in particular in the regions of the area surrounding the natural park of Albufera.
The rice seeding is handmade or with the help of small aircrafts, from the end of April to the middle of May. During the plants' growth, one or two eixugons (rinsing phases), the plants must rest free from water for some days to avoid the proliferation of weeds, independently from the level of the water into which the cultivation is submerged. The rice is harvested between September and October through automatic reaping machines and must dry at the sun into sequers and into hot-air driers. During the year, the rice is cleaned, refined and conditioned through fully mechanized processes.
Appearance and Flavour
Senia variety is 5.6 mm long and in average 2.4 mm large; Bahía variety is 5.6 mm long and has an average largeness of the grain of 2.3 mm; Bomba variety has a length of 5.2 mm and, in average, the grain is 2.9 mm large.
The history of Arroz de Valencia PDO has very ancient origins rooted in the gastronomic tradition of the production area. The first documents go back to the beginning of the 13th century and confirm the existence of rice cultivations in the Navarra region before being conquered by Jacques I, in 1238. At the beginning, rice cultivation was made on the Albufera de Valencia lakesides. Rice production was soon developed and highly appreciated by the population, above all due to the favourable climatic conditions of the land, ideal for rice cultivation. After a slow down, due to the promulgation of laws which limited it, as considered in part the cause of the proliferation of malaria in the production area, the rice cultivation was increased again up to today and the Arroz de Valencia PDO has become one of the protagonists of local gastronomy.
The Arroz de Valencia PDO must be stored in a dry and fresh room. This product has always been a fundamental ingredient of the traditional cuisine from Valencia and, above all, the main one for the preparation of paella. It is suitable in an array of flavours and combinations; it is perfect with mushrooms, vegetables, pork, fish and duck etc.
The product is sold as Arroz de Valencia PDO. The rice is sold polished, in the classes Extra or Wholemeal rice, and suitably packed.
The production area of Arroz de Valencia PDO is characterized by wet and marshy regions, which have perfect pedoclimatic conditions for the cultivation of this variety of rice.