History and Origins of Paella

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History of Paella

The global popularity of Paella has grown enormously in recent years. It is hard to define what paella exactly contains for there are as many variations of paella as there are chefs claiming that their recipe is the best tasting or most authentic. Why so many varieties exist can be understood in its historical development.

All experts agree on that Valencia is undisputedly where paella originates. Valencia has been one of the most significant rice-producing areas in Spain since rice is brought by Arabs. Indeed the word arroz, rice in Spanish, is derived from Arabic. The dish Paella is, in reality, a perfect union of two cultures in Spain: the Romans for the pan and the Arabs for the rice.

The Paella pan is characterized by being large and round with a flat bottom. The feature that doesn't change among paella pans is the height, the height is less for the rice to have maximum contact with the bottom. The dish paella takes its name from the pan. Linguists believe that the word paella comes from the name of the pan it is made in - the Latin term patella.

The first paella is believed to be cooked by Valencian farmers. The farmers cooked the foods they have in their hands for lunch. It was made of rice and whatever was to hand around the rice fields and countryside: tomatoes, onions and snails, with a few beans added for flavour and texture. It is originally includes snail as they were cheap but rabbit and later chicken were added for special occasions. Seafood paella is the newest form of paella compared to the paella types with other meat sources. The original paella contains snails, not seafood.

Preparing and Serving Paella

Traditionally, paella was eaten straightly from its pan with wooden spoons of each person. Eating paella is still an important ocasion for Spaniards. Families not only gather in restaurants to eat paella but paella is often cooked at weekends or holidays at picnic areas near to sea or mountain. Making paella is often left to men like BBQ's in England. Paella can create a sociable and enjoyable environment often with a debate on how to cook paella itself.

The most popular paella is made with Bomba rice because it absorbs the flavours and the stock more than other rices so it becomes bigger and more delicious. Saffron is an elemental ingredient of paella, saffron gives a nice taste and a deep yellow colour to paella. Onions and garlic are essential, and artichoke quarters, nora peppers, fresh peas or beans are often added. Vegetarian version exists as well which does not include any meat or seafood.

Spain, especially Valencia, is also home to many paella competitions in city and village festivals and usually a giant paella is the centerpiece for many fiestas.

In short, there are many types of paella, but the best are always made with Bomba Rice and you can buy it by clicking on it. Also, Iberica Delights is proud to cater the authentic Spanish Paella: seafood, chicken, vegetarian or black Paella. If you are planning an event, we take care to cook for you, just with a click here .