Let's get to the point: how are the rice fields of Valencia, Murcia and Catalonia different?

The question that heads this article is harder to answer than it seems, because gastronomic borders are much more diffuse than in geopolitics. It is easy to intuit the link between rice with rabbit and Murcian snails and the classic Valencian paella. Or between the Catalan parellada rice and the arròs del senyoret that is consumed in Levantine lands. And it is that in these three regions of the Mediterranean strip we can find quite similar versions of broth and dry rice; of sailor and mountain rice.

Direct to the Palate How are paella, cauldron rice and brown rice different?

They are joined by devotion to this versatile cereal, whose cultivation was introduced by the Arabs in the eighth century. We owe to Muslims the transformation of many flooded and swampy landscapes of marshes and lagoons - considered until then sterile for agriculture - in angels dedicated to the cultivation of a product that forever revolutionized the gastronomy of Mediterranean Spain. A valuable heritage that has given rise to rice with designation of origin As the Calasparra pump (Murcia); he Valencia Rice which has the Albufera of Valencia as a flagship (pump, albufera, J.Sendra or marsh varieties); or also that of Ebro Delta (bomb, bay, montsianell, senia, tebre).

The key is in the sofrito

We know what is the common vertex of rice culture in Murcia, Valencian Community and Catalonia, but what are the main points of divergence? In the opinion of Paco Solé, current owner and son of the founders of the emblematic rice shop in Barcelona 7 freight (Passeig d'Isabel II, 14), the main difference is in the sofrito. “The different combinations of sofrito and broth or fumet They are the ones that explain the great variety of rice we have. It is a key issue - notes Solé, in statements to Direct to the Palate-. In Catalonia, for example, the sofrito has onions, something that in Valencia is considered a heresy (laughs) ”.

Carmela House

Murciana by birth, Valencian for adoption, and with several years of experience in a rice cooker in Barcelona, ​​the cook María José Martínez, owner of Canvas restaurant from Valencia, is a voice authorized to talk about the matter at hand. “Indeed, sofrito is essential. In Catalonia, in addition to putting onions, much more tomato is thrown into rice than in Valencia and in addition the paella is put in the oven. You control the time, at the end you open the door for steam to escape, and the rice dries. Yes, socarrat you are not going to find. The Catalan client does not appreciate it like the one in Valencia ”.

And how do you solve the sofrito in Murcia? “There we do it as in Alicante: a tomato and tomato ketchup **, oil and garlic **. And we also use the pepper very often, especially when they are rice with seafood. ” Another difference that differentiates it from Valencian rice and its sister with those prepared in Alicante is that in Murcia you don't usually prepare broth, “you pour water directly after pearling the rice beforehand, that is, sauté the grain with the sofrito until it acquires a pearly or pearly appearance, ”explains the chef.

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The most typical rice dishes in Valencia

Valencian Paella

900 hours, already preparing and burning orange wood for a good paella

It is the most universal rice ... and also the one that causes the most controversies. Valencian paella is a dish of rural and humble origin. The peasants threw what they had on hand: chickens, rabbit, eel, albufera rat (from which they fed on rice), and products from the garden such as green beans (bass guitar) or thick and flat beans (garrofó). Another feature of authenticity is the incorporation of cowgirl snails, a species that grows in dry mountains and in places where rosemary, lavender and thyme grows (which makes them a perfect complement to this dish). With the aim of clearing any type of doubt, the association Wikipaella It has been established What are the 19 ingredients that a rice worth bearing the name of paella can carry?.

Despite the humility of its ingredients, this dish is the most protocol. The purists defend that it should be eaten directly from the container, if possible with the help of a well-polished wooden spoon. (And without lemon, please). It is important to scratch the socarrat well, that delicious film of roasted rice (which is not burned) that adheres to the bottom of the paella.

Baked rice

Good morning We start the week with this delicious Arantxa rice with the variety (pump #moliderafelet), we take good note of the recipe via Repost @arantxabrujilla I die for this rice Today holiday in Valencia and with more hunger. ARRS AL FORN. This Baked Rice, the truth is that I prepare it very much, because it is my favorite recipe among all the Rice recipes. More than the Valencian paella ... that is to say On this occasion I used the rice of @moliderafelet And also the paprika of the Vera @ pimenton_elcaballodeoros ... It also carries the traditional ingredients of Rice, pork ribs, bacon, tomato, chickpeas, head of garlic, potato, paprika, and broth, the white (typical sausage of the terreta). You have a recipe in my gallery… #arroz #arros #arrosalforn #arrozalhorno #valencia #valenciagram #paellalover #paellalovers #ricelover #morcilla #papas #ribs #cocina #cocinafacil #easyrecipes #comidareal #salso #cuina #receptes #cooking #gastronomia #cheff #foodgood #instafoods #instafood. Photo by @arantxabrujilla. Many for this delicacy #arantxabrujilla. Happy Monday and week #fanmoliderafelet Teresa and Rafael Moli de Rafelet #hermanosmargalef #fansmoliderafelet

A rice that can be used to "recycle" the remains of the previous day's stew. Bring chickpeas, bacon, blood sausage, sausages or pork ribs, potatoes, tomatoes and a head of garlic are added in the center. The recipe, which in a first version appears already collected under the name of arròs in cassola al forn at Car free of 1520, hardly suffers variations in any of the regions of the Valencian Community. It is that of the interior municipality of Xàtiva, in the province of Valencia, which holds more fame.

Rice with beans and turnip

Valencianor in the form of #fessolsinaps

A spoon plate which is usually eaten as a family and transmitted from generation to generation. It is perhaps the flagship of the sweet-hearted Valencians. Strong and full of flavor, thanks to the different parts of the pork with which it is made (ear, nose, bacon, handyman), this recipe is perfect for the cold months.

Live to the Palate Seven rice dishes that are not Valencian paella and that we like more (or almost)

Plenty of rice

A seafood dish of Alicante origin that is worth two. It is typical of the coastal areas of Alicante and its invention It is attributed to the fish guilds, who used the backpack or discard fish that they could not sell in the market and used them to prepare a succulent broth or bottom of fish where a separate rice is cooked (a band). The next day a stew is cooked with that broth, adding potato and shredded fish.

Where to eat good rice in the Valencian Community? In Valencia itself, local tradition stands out as Carmela House, Roberto House Y L'Alter, in Picassent, who claims to have appeared in The New York Times. It is worth noting the rice cooked with firewood Elijah House (Xinorlet, Alicante) and Paco Gandía, in El Pinós (Alicante), as well as or Jaime House (Peñíscola), where you can try the atypical but spectacular Calabuig rice, with espardenyes and nettles.

The most typical rices in Catalonia

Parellada rice

7 Port Parellada Rice

A rice with legend. They say that the recipe emerged in the early twentieth century in the Suís de Plaça Reial. This restaurant had as a regular client a rich lawyer named Juli Maria Parellada. One day he decided to order a plate of rice without bones and without thorns so as not to stain his fingers. And so they say this "cousin brother" dish was born from senyoret rice Valencian.

Catalan rice with sausage

A mountain rice that honors the mastery of the Catalans in the elaboration of chacinas. It can be prepared with different types of sausage (especially black and white sausage), in addition to sweet peppers and the essential tomato stir-fry.

Casserole rice

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A traditional dish that was formerly served at weddings and major parties and later established as a typical Thursday meal. It is cooked in a clay bowl and admits many variants, depending on the ingredients of the season. For example, in spring it is common to use tender beans and in autumn mushrooms. It admits both chicken - sometimes incorporating its fried blood - and game meat such as fish or shellfish.

Where to eat good rice in Catalonia: 7 freight, The salt sea Y Can Solé in Barcelona; The Llagut (Tarragona); Els Pescadors (Llançà); Llagostera (Gero 16. na); White sun (Pals)

The most typical rice in Murcia

Murcian cauldron (from the Mar Menor)


Very typical seafood recipe from Murcia. It owes its name to the pot in which it is made, traditionally used by fishermen. It is made with fish from the Mar Menor, especially with sea bream and mullet. The most famous is the one they serve in the Venezuela restaurant of Lo Pagán, made with fish guts and livers with tomatoes, fried heads and gañiles, fish stock, fish slices and, of course, rice.

Rice with rabbit and serrano snails

Cooked on firewood with Calasparra pump rice and serrano snails (or mountain ranges), What are they pure mountain flavor. This Murcian specialty has its replica also in El Pinòs, a small town in the interior of Alicante and very close to Murcia and Albacete.

Hunting rice

Partridge and foie rice from Los Cazadores de Corvera

One of the most famous is that of partridge and foie that prepare the fire in Los Cazadores de Corvera. A sweet and aromatic rice that is pure mount thanks to the presence of mountain herbs Like rosemary and thyme.

Where to eat good rice in Murcia: the cauldron of the restaurant is famous Venezuela (Lo Pagán) where they also highlight their seafood and fresh fish; also with solera are the cauldrons and other rices of Ramon (Los Alcácares); in The rice of the 9 floors (Murcia) it is clear what is going to eat, where they are cooked to the vine in the center of town; Taúlla by Julio Velandrino (Murcia) stands out for its seasonal cuisine based on traditional Murcian cuisine but reinterpreted with author touches and more modern techniques; The Hunters of Corvera; The lemon trees (Archena); and for more rice hunting, Partridge (Sierra Espuña) is another classic located in a luxury enclave, in the natural park.