Calasparra Rice DOP is grown in one region only in Spain, known for its unique properties when cooked, which are said to be the absolute best for Paella. Cooperatively produced in Murcia along the Mundo and Segura River valleys, Calasparra is a premium grade of Spanish rice. Granted DOP status in 1986, Calasparra is still, to this day, the only such protected rice in the European community. It needs 2 1/2 times as much water as standard Spanish rice, and it holds up very well so there is less danger of having soggy, overcooked rice. It is like Arborio to Italians. In the centuries old tradition, fresh river waters are channeled through the rice fields near the town of Calasparra, and the cooler summer climate of the area results in a slower ripening grain which is harder and slower cooking.