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  • The rice fields of Pego (Parque Natural del Marjal de Pego-Oliva)

    It is time for a new blog on a special subject, namely Spanish rice and rice fields in the village of Pego in Alicante province. Every day that I am in Spain, I look out on the sea from every room and terrace of our house, and between the sea and the house are rice fields that are part of a beautiful nature reserve, the Parque Natural del Marjal de Pego-Oliva. I could tell you a lot more about the nature reserve, but I'll save that for another blog. In this blog, I would like to introduce you to the beautiful rice fields of Pego. And indeed, you read it correctly: real rice fields! You might not see them very well from the road, but feel free to drive up Monte Pego by car and enjoy the beautiful view. Since the rice fields of Pego are not very well known to tourists, I decided to do some research and write a blog about time for a new blog on a special subject, namely Spanish rice and rice fields in the village of Pego in the province of Alicante. Rice variety The rice variety grown here is called Bomba rice and it is a round-grain rice variety. When the original Bomba variety was introduced to Spain, it was given that name because it has a round shape. Bomba rice is mostly eaten in the province of Valencia. Not surprising either, as this is also the region where most paella is eaten. Due to its high amilosa content, Bomba rice sticks less to a pan than other types of rice. The grain expands during cooking, and will therefore "open up" less during cooking. These properties, combined with its flavour, make it suitable for preparing all types of paella, risotto and fried rice, as well as soups, as it almost never becomes sticky. Why is this area so suitable for rice cultivation Located north of Marina Alta, the Marjal de Pego-Oliva Natural Park is the only rice-growing area in Alicante. The clean spring water and natural fertility of the soil make this rice a unique product in the Mediterranean. It is a permanently humid area because of the water from the Bullent-Vedat and Racons-Molinell rivers, as well as the springs of the Rambla Gallinera and the water supply from the Mustalla and Segaria mountains. The Pego Valley's location, close to the sea and surrounded by mountains, gives it an excellent microclimate for growing this unique rice. Healthy, gluten-free and unique The Miguel Hernández University of Alicante has concluded in a study that the rice grown in the Marjal de Pego-Oliva, along with that of Doñana, is the grain with the lowest inorganic arsenic content in Spain. Consumption of this bomba rice is even safe for high-risk groups such as celiacs and babies. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set a limit of 100 micrograms per kilogram of product, and in the case of Pego it is 45. Where to buy? The rice can be bought in cute cotton bags of 1, 2 or 5 kilograms. They are available at several restaurants in Pego and at the factory itself on Calle Maestro Berenguer, 63-B in Pego. But rice sachets can also be bought at bodegas in deo inspiration, such as in Xalo, for example. Not only is it tasty ... but the bags are also nice to use as bookends for your cookbooks. So right away a handy DIY. Flamingos Since the last few years, flamingos have also found the rice fields of Marjal de Pego-Oliva. A beautiful sight of large schools of sometimes hundreds of flamingos. Besides the flamingos, the nature reserve is famous for the many other bird species (over 300 species) that are found throughout the wetlands of Parque Natural del Pego-Oliva, including egrets and storks. But more on that in a future blog. Know more or take a tour If you want to know more about these rice fields, a tour is also available upon request. If so, please email If you would like to stay here at Monte Pego for a holiday or to spend the winter or just read more blogs about the Denia and Pego area, check out our website I would love to read what you think of the blog, so you are always welcome to leave a comment.

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