Calasparra Rice is a unique, centuries-old short grain rice with a leisurely maturing process -- 30% slower than other kinds of rice. This longer growing cycle produces kernels that are exceptionally dehydrated - ready to absorb even more of the tasty sauces and flavors of paella broth and other Mediterranean recipes.
Since rice is the bedrock of paella, it is advantageous to use either of the strains of rice grown in Calasparra and not cut corners. They have been used for paellas for centuries -- producing individual al dente grains, swollen with as much good broth as possible.
The problem you run into with substitutes is that the other short-grained strains of rice are designed with other applications in mind: Arborio is meant to become creamy when cooked; Asian rice is meant to be sticky; Basmati is light, aromatic and fragile; and long grain rice (such as Uncle Ben's) is a completely different product with lower absorbency.
Calasparra Rice is grown in the mountains of the Spanish province of Murcia, where it enjoys pure mountain water irrigation, unlike the usual rice fields by the Mediterranean Sea.
The aqueducts delivering water from the mountain streams were first engineered by the Romans, and then improved upon by the Moors over 1,000 years ago!
Both our Bomba and Calasparra rice grown in the D.O. Calasparra region are totally free of all pesticides, herbicides, etc. No chemicals of any kind are added during processing. Each bag is individually numbered at the farm.