National Spanish Paella DayMarch 27, 2017 by Amanda Jenkins [guest author]
If I had to choose my last meal, the original paella (made with rabbit and snails) would be it. Making a true paella is an art, and I recommend that if you ever visit Spain – watch how they make this dish. Many non-Spaniards consider this the national dish. However, the Spanish tortilla espanola is the national dish.
The paella is considered the regional dish of Valencia region of Spain. For more details on regional dishes, read our Spain Planning Guide.
The word” paella” is derived from an Old French word that translates into “pan.” There are some varieties of paella from vegetables, meat, seafood and mixed. The paella all starts with the freshest ingredients and the rice. The best rice for a paella is bomba rice, which is a short-grained rice cultivated in the eastern part of Spain; known for not sticking and overcooking.
Back to the original paella, which is darker and smokier from being cooked on a fire, richer, and much drier than a risotto, and much more satisfying. The dish can be dated back to the 1800s, and is cooked with saffron, rice, rabbit, chicken, snails called “vaquetes,” and beans.
Today, chefs have created multiple types of paella, and even though it may not be traditional, these dishes are great for our palate as the flavors are layered with every bite. My favorite part is the burnt part of the bottom of the pan.
Your passengers may request paella every now and then, and it’s always important to ask what kind of paella are they looking for. Remember that sometimes it difficult here in the United States to get the ingredients for a traditional paella.