Cultural Corner: Paella

Cultural Corner: Paella

Paella is a popular dish of the Valencia region in Spain. Although it has ancient roots, its modern version was created in the mid-nineteenth century. It is enjoyed all over the world and many people consider paella as the national dish of Spain, although in Spain it is more common in Valencia, a region located south of Catalonia, on the east coast of Spain.

There are many types of paella. The original paella from the Valencia region includes the following ingredients: white rice, green beans, meat such as duck or chicken, snails and saffron. The saffron gives it its particular color. You can also add several vegetables such as artichokes. Another variation uses shellfish instead of meat, particularly crustaceans.

Probably the most popular type of paella cooked outside of Spain is a mix of recipes that includes meat and seafood along with vegetables and rice. Paella can be served spicy or mild depending on the spices used. All types of paella use olive oil for cooking and it is cooked in a special pan called the paellera. The name paella comes from an old French word ‘paelle’ which means frying pan.


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