“Round grain”, “xx Brand” … These are the usual answers when you ask someone what rice they cook. Some, though, do use a special variety such as Bomba, Albufera, Marisma…
Well, when you buy a package of rice that does not indicate the variety, it can contain different types of similar grain. If so, the outcome after been cooked will be uneven, as the organoleptic properties, cooking times, etc … change depending on the variety.
The medium grain rice that is most produced today in Spain, due to its excellent yield in the field, and how easy is is to cook is the Jsendra variety, and was named after the Engineer Juan Sendra, from the Rice Department of the Valencian Institute of Agrarian Research, where the variety was created in 2005.
Back in the 1980s, the Bahia variety was cultivated. In the 90s, the farmers turned into the Sénia variety. Nowadays these two varieties are virtually abandoned since they were agronomically and gastronomically improved, by the current Jsendra and Gleva, both varieties that have the Denomination of Origin “Arroz de Valencia” protection.
Jsendra is a pearly and attractive grain compared to the rest of common rices. Itabsorbs the flavors of the ingredients and cooking scents very well. It doesn’t stand being overcooked due to its low content of amylose-type starch (18% approx.). In the mouth, it is enjoyed a juicy grain with a pleasant texture.
It takes around 16 – 18 min cooking time. It releases soluble starch. It works well in dry rice for its absorption of flavors and its creamy texture in the mouth, if the cooling off resting time is short. For mellow and soupy dishes, it must be stirred carefully to thicken the broth without breaking the grain. It is recommended to cook over low heat.
It is advisable to buy Jsendra with Designation of Origin, a guarantee of grain uniformity, cooking times … to always ensure the same result in the kitchen.
What rice do you cook with? why?
Article written by Juan Carlos GALBIS -Master of rice masters-, José ZAFRA, -passionate about rice- and Juan Valero -Rice TARTANA Manager-.