Senia Rice

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The Senia variety of rice (Oryza sativa) is known for its medium size grain and its ability to easily absorb the liquid in which it is cooked without sticking. The product is very popular in the areas where it is produced because it is a dry and sweet rice. The Valencian community has various natural wetlands that have the adequate soil conditions and watering for cultivation in addition to having suitable climate for this rice. Senia rice grows in the provinces of Alicante, Castellon and Valencia, on both sides of the Jucar River and in the areas bordering the Albufera wetland. The alkaline soil in this area consists of limestone and clay, and it is also poor in organic matter. These areas have low permeability and excellent conditions for rice cultivation.   The rice is germinated in a greenhouse and when the plant is about 15 cm tall it is seeded with machines, leaving “els guaixos” (clusters) that are spaced at 25 to 30 cm. During its growth, one or two “eixugons” (rinses) are performed, which leave the crop without water for days to combat algae. Planting grain itself and not sowing the seed allows farmers to better combat weeds without having to use synthetic herbicides. Senia rice is collected with automated harvesters from early September to early October. A selective harvest is conducted to ensure the highest purity of the variety. Next, the rice is dried the sun, cleaned, milled and packaged.   Historical documents show that the rice was once cultivated in the ancient Valencian Reign before falling to the rule of Jaime I in 1238. The “Llibre dels repartiments,” which redistributed the lands to the newly conquered kingdom, describes the rice fields of the area. The Regulation of 1753 by King Fernando VI also mentions the rice reserves of the area. Senia rice cultivation has been maintained without interruption through contemporary times, and has always been a product staple of the Valencian gastronomy. It has also been noted internationally as the base for Valencian paella.

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Territory

StateSpain
Region

Comunidad Valenciana

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Categories

Cereals and flours