Paella is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera , a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain. Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain’s national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols.
•There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella, seafood paella and mixed paella, but there are many others as well. Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck), land snails, beans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces meat and snails with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans. Most paella chefs use calasparra or bomba rices for this dish. Other key ingredients include saffron and olive oil.
•March 27th is National Paella Day.
•The Spanish rice dish ‘Paella’ takes its name from the pan it is cooked in, which in turn comes from the Latin word for ‘pan’ or ‘dish.’
•Valencian restaurateur Juan Galbis claims to have made the world’s largest paella with help from a team of workers on 2 October 2001. This paella fed about 110,000 people according to Galbis’ former website. http://mobile-cuisine.com
Photo Kelly Clifford