A little history of Spanish Paella. It originates from a region of Spain called Valencia, which is in Eastern Spain. These days paella can be found in most Western countries, from the Americas to Europe, and it is especially popular in Spain. The recipe has expanded over the years, and now many different varieties of paella are passed off as authentic.
The most commonly accepted story of paella’s origins is that servants would take the leftovers from Moorish royal banquets and cook it up over open fires into delicious dishes they would take home to their families. The word “paella” may come from the Arab word “baqiyah”, which means “leftovers”. However, another speculation is that the word “paella” is derived from a Latin word “patella”, which was a flat plate used for religious offerings made to gods. One thing we know for sure is that paella gained popularity in the mid-nineteen hundreds when paella became a popular dish served to laborers. The workers would gather midday, combine leftovers with rice, and cook over an open fire. It is believed that most paella dishes at the time consisted of snails and whatever vegetables the workers could scrounge up, and meats like chicken or rabbit were only added for special occasions.
Today, paella is usually cooked over an open fire in a traditional paella pan. It can be made with rice, chicken, fish, shellfish, eel, rabbit, squid, artichokes, snails, beans, peppers, or any other variety of vegetables you’d like to add in Classic paella usually is made with rabbit, chicken, snails, beans, and artichokes. It is seasoned with saffron, amongst other spices. If you order paella outside of Spain, you will probably be served a dish of rice, chicken, and seafood. When cooking paella, it’s best to use a large, flat pan that is open and has handles on either side for easy handling.
You’ll need to make an open fire for authentic taste, and you’ll want to try for an even heat. You’ll want to brown the meat while the fire is at its peak, and then let the dish simmer as the fire dies down. You’ll add the seafood last, since it only needs to cook for a short time. Be sure to use medium grain rice (as this soaks up liquid better than long grain rice) and buy high quality saffron for best results.
Guest Post by Heather Green Bio:Born and raised in North Carolina, Heather Green has worked as a fashion and beauty consultant as well as freelancing for various wedding, fashion, and health publications. She currently acts as the resident blogger for Online Nursing Degrees where she’s been researching rn to bsn programs as well as her online healthcare administration degree.