Invented by farmers, this is considered a special rice dish in Spain
Spanish Paella is a saffron-flavoured rice dish cooked with seafood, meats, and vegetables, traditionally eaten from the pan. The dish is named after the utensil in which it is cooked - paellera - a flat round pan with two handles. For the cooking ingredients, Bomba rice, also labelled as Valencia Rice or Rice de Valencia and Calasparra Rice are two of the best rice choices to use.
Origins of the dish can be traced to the rice-growing areas on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, especially associated with the region of Valencia. It was originally a farmer’s lunchtime cooked by the farm workers over a wood fire, using rice and whatever vegetables, meat and seafood they found near the rice fields.
Paella, a rice dish originally from the rice fields of Valencia, is commonly viewed by Spaniards as their national dish, and is considered one of the best dishes in Spanish cuisine. One does not necessarily need a paella pan to make paella, a large skillet is sufficient.
Originally, as a farmer’s lunchtime meal, water voles, eels and snails were some of the main ingredients. But as the living standards rose in the late 19th Century Spain, these were replaced by meats such as ducks, rabbits, chicken and sometimes snail. Also, traditionally, diners ate the dish directly out of the pan instead of serving it on plates.
In present-day Spain, most paella cooks today use Bomba rice for the dish, along with a variety of seafood and meat items, while in Valencia cooks can be seen using Senia rice. Spanish Paella currently comprises paella valenciana, paella made as per Valencia traditions, Paella de marisco, paella made from seafood, and Paella mixta which is paella cooked according to individual preferences and regional influences.
Here’s the recipe for Spanish Paella.