Diputaci de Girona
 

Pals Rice.

Not all territories are suitable for rice growing. Rice is more selective than other cereal crops, because water is an absolute necessity. Thus, the habitat of Pals rice is the natural parks of Els Aiguamolls in L’Alt Empordà and El Montgrí, les Illes Medes i el Baix Ter in Baix Empordà. And the rice farmers are so aware of their involvement in the preservation of the landscape and the fauna of the environment, that they declare their crops to be agri-environmental. Thus, every year, in the cold months, the fields are restored to their natural state. The wetlands reappear as an ephemeral display of the original territory. Between the end of April and the beginning of May, with the fields flooded, the rice is planted. And it has been like that since the 14th century.

The wetlands and marshes of L’Empordà were the only rice producing area in Catalonia between the Middle Ages and the 19th century. The 20th century was a very cyclical period, fluctuating between crisis and a questioning of the crop. In contrast, during the first years of the 21st century, possibly thanks to the increasing popularity of gastronomy, Pals rice has come to be much appreciated. Currently, there are about twenty farmers, mainly from Baix Empordà, cultivating around a thousand hectares of different varieties, with round-grain being the most popular.

Rice with the 2018-2019 Girona Excel·lent seal

Round pearl rice

Rice growers for generations, the Paral family know all the secrets of cooking rice. Obtained through environmentally-friendly agriculture, round pearl rice has just the right amount of starch needed to cook traditional rice dishes, as it absorbs the juices very well during cooking, it does not split and it retains the aroma of a sofrito.

Category: Round pearl rice

Producer: Arròs de Pals, SL

www.arrosmolidepals.com

Medium-grain rice

Owners since 1984 of the historic rice mill in Pals, documentary records of which go back to 1452, the Parals family has selected this variety of medium-grain rice because it absorbs less liquid during cooking and because the texture remains firm when it has been taken off the cooker. It is ideal for preparing salads, paella or dishes in which the sauce is served separately.

Category: Medium-grain rice

Producer: Arròs de Pals, SL

www.arrosmolidepals.com

Whole-grain rice

At the ultra-modern facilities of the historic mill in Pals, whole-grain rice is obtained from the round-grain varieties they know so well. Rich in fibre, mineral salts, especially phosphorus and magnesium, and vitamins (E and B group), whole-grain rice is considered the most natural, since only the outer husk is removed and it is not bleached.

Category: Whole-grain rice

Producer: Arròs de Pals, SL

www.arrosmolidepals.com

The rice tasting jury.

Ma. Àngels Jacas

Chef at Merylou restaurant, l’Escala

Paula Molés

Journalist specialized in gastronomy of Catalunya Ràdio

Encarni Fernández

Chef at restaurant El Celler de la Planassa, Palamós

Yun Ju Choi

Chef at El Celler de Can Roca restaurant, Girona

Joan Carles Sánchez

Chef at Es Portal restaurant, Pals