It has all the requirements for this crop – abundant water from the Rhône delta, sun, and the mistral wind, which dries the rice naturally after harvest. In August 1593, Henry IV, on the advice of his chief minister, Duke of Sully, ordered the production of rice in the Camargue.Until 1930, it was mainly used to create agricultural land for other crops such as vines, because it prevented the region reverting to unproductive salt marshes. Camargue (French Red) Rice is grown in the eponymous region of Southeastern France, featuring a beautiful red russet color and wonderful nutty flavor. We source premier short grain, red rice with its hull intact for the world-class texture, flavor and color of our Camargue (French Red) Rice. In the 19th century rice growing increased alongside other cereals and grapes. Today 75% of French rice comes from the 15,000 hectares cultivated in the Camargue, in other words 99% of French production of which 55% comes from the commune of Arles. White rice is a husked rice. Now sushi is very popular. It has an intense somewhat nutty … They cultivate 300 hectares of cereal, 200 hectares of rice and 100 of durum wheat. Mr Mazel says they are particularly good with meat or fish: “They are a little different from other varieties as they have a taste a bit like lentils and are crunchy. The famous paddy fields stretch as far as the horizon. The water level is crucial to favour germination and protect from the Mistral wind. In summer, farmers constantly check water levels. The real skill of the rice farmer comes into play in the spring when water is let into the fields and sowing begins. The French regulations together with European laws mean it is produced under the strictest codes – 20% is organic and the remaining 80% uses the minimum of treatments. After four weeks, the water is slowly drained and the floating rice plants sink to the floor and grow roots. Nature trails, observation platforms and exhibitions in the park, not to mention the Camargue Museum and the local Rice Museum (Maison du Riz), all make for an informative day out. Hold on a minute. Mussels are silently opening in juicy yellow rice with accents of bright red shrimp. A few days before, the farmers flood the fields with water from the Rhône, which is then warmed by the sun to the 15-17 degrees needed for the seeds to germinate. Today, 75% of France’s entire rice production comes from the Camargue, 55% of it from the district of Arles. They are very good seasoned with butter or olive oil.”. They adapt to changing fashions: “A few years ago it was long rice. Immediately opposite, the elegant and stylish Grand Hotel Pinus has always been the center of the city’s social life. Arles is art, fashion and photography. Bring the stock or water to a boil and cook the Camargue rice for 30 minutes. Water can only be used in the fields once, unlike many other countries where it is repumped over and over again. Doesn’t paella come from Spain? In total, the plants take 130 to 150 days to reach maturity, when they are harvested and the rice is husked, ready for sale. Top quality rice has been thriving in the area since the 19th century. Rice, which is one of the most consumed foods in the world, appeared quite late in France. For the biscuits mix the rice flour, egg white, olive oil, water, salt, ground coriander and grilled sesame seeds. Rice Flour Biscuit50g Camargue wholemeal rice flour1 egg white10cl water 2cl olive oilsaltground coriander5g grilled sesame seeds. The red Camargue rice came about through a natural mutation and is now world famous; in 2000 this high-quality organic product was granted protected geographical indication (PGI) status. I love it. After the Second World War, money from the Marshall Plan aimed at revitalising Europe, was invested in the area, which allowed irrigation and drainage ditches to be created, land to be levelled, and pumping stations, rice transformation centres and silos to be built. 3. Today some 250 rice growers in the Camargue produce about 110,000 tons of rice a … The high-quality Camargue rice that we appreciate and enjoy today has been around since the end of the Second World War. I recommend our Bayonne ham and Camargue rice makis to sate the wanderlust and tide you over until the next trip. They must control weeds and watch out for coypu, shrimps and flamingos which can destroy a crop. Out of 200kg of rice sown per hectare, only half will grow to maturity. The rice is harvested from mid-September to the end of October. Laser-guided levelsDuring the rest of autumn and winter, each field is dried and levelled with the aid of a laser-guided blade as the surface must be as flat as possible. The pink flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is just one of the estimated 340 animal species that inhabit the Camargue, including nine European heron species that regularly pass through. Camargue Rice. “The strict regulations and numerous taxes mean our costs are high. Its world production is massive. Bertrand Mazel, President of both the Union of European Rice Farmers and the Union of French Rice Farmers says that France produces 3% of rice in Europe, and that Europe produces 0.3% of rice in the world. It makes a wonderful accompaniment to meat, fish and seafood – and especially the famous Camargue cowboy’s dish Gardianne de taureau, a beef stew that is steeped in good red wine and seasoned with bay leaf, thyme, dried orange peel, vinegar, onions and garlic. Mr Mazel says that rice is big business: “It is the only cultivated cereal that is only eaten by humans and not by animals. October is harvest time for rice in the Camargue, where 200 rice farmers produce 80,000 tonnes a year from 15,000 hectares of land in the only rice region of France. In pans everywhere, lunchtime Paella camarguaise is simmering away in the open air. Humans have lived in the Camargue for millennia, greatly affecting it with drainage schemes, dykes, rice paddies and salt pans. What the Food ! Canals and drains are repaired. Shortly after World War II vast swaths of salt marshes were desalinated. But the other varieties also boast superfood credentials, with lots of vital nutrients, such as minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and vitamin B1.