Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Blai made me a lovely paella over the weekend. To me, paella was always
this rice dish with seafood and chorizo, that red and spicy dried
Spanish sausage. Can you picture the open mussels and whole prawns lying
on top of this delectable dish?

Well, think again. My trips to Barcelona (which now seem so long ago)
and conversations with Spaniards (to be specific...those who hail from
Valencia, home of the paella) have established that true paella
Valenciana has only chicken and/or rabbit and vegetables. Snails are
optional. Anything else would just be a rice dish....just not by the
name of paella Valenciana.

Another interesting fact I learned this weekend was that although
saffron was the original flavouring and colouring agent used in paellas,
nowadays everyone in Spain uses yellow colourant.

The recipe in Saveur seems to be good...and the accompanying article describes how seriously the art of paella is taken.