The truth about paella

Jul 3, 2024 | Paellas

By Guillermo Bermell

Hello dear Paella Lover friend! How are you, your family and friends doing? I will always ask, as my family and my friends are very important in my life; so I think they are as well important for you. And even more in these difficult times we are going through…

A lot of people think a paella is a plate with bright yellow rice with red or green pepper, chorizo, carrots and prawns. Things get worse when the paella is covered by tons of toppings and one does not see the soul of a paella – the rice, which most of the times is overcooked and loses importance. But let me tell you one thing:  you haven’t had the authentic traditional valencian paella yet! By the way, I went through my beginnings with paellas in my previous blog. If you missed it, check it here!.

Valencian paella with seafood

A few truths about paella

The most famous Spanish dish originates from Valencia, which is why we (Valencians) feel so passionate about it. So much that we have a paella emoji and ultimately it is the history, tradition and culture of Valencia, Spain and, possibly, the world, since a petition has been filed for it to be declared Intangible Heritage by UNESCO. It is time to show you a few truths about paella.

  • Valencia is without doubt the best place to try paella and learn more about it. You can go out to the nicest restaurants and try authentic paellas. or even cook them by yourself. And to impress your friends, and enjoy paella like Valencians do, simply remember these tips:
  • In Valencia, home of this iconic dish, the true paella is made of chicken and rabbit meat and some vegetables. In the rest of the world, people think the traditional one is the one made with seafood or mixed (meat and seafood)
  • In Valencia, the most stauncher defenders of paella, say that the only recipe which can have the name “paella” is the original traditional one. The rest of dishes served in the pan with the same name, should be named “rice with …”, “rice of …” or “… paella”. For example “seafood paella”, “rice of low shoulder pork cut with caramelized apple” or “rice with vegetables”.
  • There is no place for chorizo in the actual recipe of the authentic traditional valencian paella! (whereby in the ancient one there was…)
  • Paella is a lunchtime meal. Only tourists will be found eating paella at night.
  • Paella is the name of the flat pan where the rice is cooked as well as the food/dish itself.
  • Although everybody can learn how to cook a paella, there is a certain male pride in doing so, a bit like barbecues.
  • Patience has a very important impact, and never more so than when cooking or waiting to eat paella. If your paella in the restaurant arrives too quickly, it means it was already cooked and may have been reheated. Cooking a proper paella takes time – you should allow at least 25 minutes from the time you order it. Many restaurants will ask you to pre-order your paella when you book, to make sure it is ready for your meal.
  • Paellas are best cooked outdoors, over a wood fire.
  • The thinner the rice layer, the tastier it will be.
  • The true color of paella should be a golden which is provided by saffron. If you see a bright yellow rice, it means it has some artificial coloring added.
  • Paella is eaten directly from the pan, with wood spoons.
  • Socarrat, this crunchy layer of caramelized rice at the bottom of the paella, is the icing on the cake. And we valencians, even fight for it!

And above all, I personally consider paella is as well the social event, a get together for friends and family, where everybody interacts and contributes to this magnificent event. And guess what is the main actor…

Valencian paella recipes

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

If you want to know more about Paella then visit our webpage. We do not only love cooking paellas: we love to show you cooking paellas with passion. Furthermore, we compromise going with you hand by hand from the history of one of the most searched worldwide recipes, to the moment when your guests are “wowed”, passing by the only ten ingredients of the original traditional Valencia paella, grocery’s shopping and selection, how to serve with easy instructions and videos, etc. All of this with a near language, the best tricks, common mistakes and many other useful information.

How did you like this blog? If you have any questions or comments related to my story or paella cooking, then feel free to post them in the comments section below.

Stay safe and…



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