Paella: Wikis


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Paella de marisco 01.jpg
A large seafood paella served in a paellera
Place of origin Spain
Region or state Valencia
Dish details
Course served main course
Serving temperature hot
Main ingredient(s) white rice
Variations Valencian
Other information Popular throughout:
Western Europe
Latin America
North America
The Philippines

Paella (Spanish pronunciation: [paˈeʎa]) is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, on the east coast of Spain.[1]

Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish. However, most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identity symbols.

There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco) and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta); but there are many others as well. Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat (rabbit, chicken, duck), snails, beans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces meat and snails with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and sometimes beans.

Most paella chefs use calasparra[2][3] or bomba[3] rices for this dish. Other key ingredients include saffron and olive oil.



Paella is a Catalan word which derives from the Old French word paelle for pan[4]which in turn comes from the Latin word patella for pan as well.[5][6][7][8]Patella is also akin to the modern French poêle,[9] the Welsh padell,[10] the Italian padella,[11] the Old Spanish padilla[12] the Polish patelnia [13] and the New Mexican Spanish puela.[14] The Proto-Indo-European root for these words is *petə-.[15][16]

Valencians use the word paella for all pans, including the specialized shallow pan used for cooking paellas. However, in most of Spain and throughout Latin America, the term paellera is more commonly used for this pan, though both terms are correct, as stated by the Royal Spanish Academy, the body responsible for regulating the Spanish language.

Paelleras are traditionally round and shallow, made of polished steel with two handles.[17]

A popular but inaccurate belief in the Arab world is that the word paella derives from the Arabic word for leftovers, baqiyah, (Arabic script:بقية) because it was customary among Arab sailors to combine leftovers of previous meals which purportedly led to a paella-like creation in Moorish Spain.[1]



Moorish influence

Uncooked bomba rice

The people of Moorish Spain often made casseroles of rice, fish and spices for family gatherings and religious feasts, thus establishing the custom of eating rice in Spain. This led to rice becoming a staple by the 15th century when Spanish Catholics expelled the Muslims. Afterwards, it became customary for cooks to combine rice with vegetables, beans and dry cod, providing an acceptable meal for Lent. Fish always predominated with rice along Spain's eastern coast.[18]

Valencian paella

On special occasions, 18th century Valencians used paelleras to cook rice in the open air of their orchards near lake Albufera. Marsh rat was one of the main ingredients of early paellas,[19] along with eel and butter beans. Novelist Vicente Blasco Ibáñez described the Valencian custom of eating marsh rats in Cañas y barro, a realist account about life among the fishermen peasants near lake Albufera.[20]

Living standards rose with the sociological changes of the late 19th century in Spain, giving rise to reunions and outings in the countryside. This led to a change of paella's ingredients as well, these being rabbit, chicken, duck, seafood and sometimes snails. This dish became so popular that in 1840 a local Spanish newspaper first used the phrase paella to refer to the recipe rather than the pan.[18]

The most widely used complete ingredient list of this era was as follows: short-grain white rice, chicken, rabbit, snails (optional), duck (optional), butter beans, great northern beans, runner beans, artichoke (a substitute for runner beans in the winter), tomatoes, fresh rosemary, sweet paprika, saffron, garlic (optional), salt, olive oil and water.[18] (Poorer Valencians, however, sometimes used nothing more than snails for meat.) It's these ingredients, and only these, that Valencians insist go into making modern Valencian paella.

Seafood and mixed paella

On the mediterranean coast, however, Valencians used seafood instead of meat and beans to make seafood paella. Later, Spaniards mixed seafood into the original Valencian recipe and mixed paella was born.[21]

During the 20th century, paella's popularity spread past Spain's borders. As other cultures set out to make paella, the dish invariably acquired regional influences. Consequently, paella recipes went from being relatively simple to including a wide variety of seafood, meat, sausage, (the most popular being Spanish, chorizo)[22][23] vegetables and many different seasonings.[24] However, the most globally popular recipe is seafood paella.

In Spain, mixed paella is very popular. Some restaurants in Spain (and many in the United States) that serve this mixed version, refer to it as Valencian paella but Valencians insist only the original Valencian recipe can bear the name paella valenciana.

International paella

Paella is now an international dish with recipes that include ingredients very different from its original versions in Valencia.[25]

Various international versions of paella are well known in Australia,[26][27] Asia (especially the Philippines[28]), Latin America (very popular in Mexico and Venezuela), the U.S., and Western European countries such as Portugal, Germany,[29] Sweden,[30] Norway[31] and Denmark.[32]

Basic cooking methods

According to tradition in Valencia, paella is cooked by men over an open fire, fueled by orange and pine branches along with pine cones. This produces an aromatic smoke which infuses the paella. Also, dinner guests traditionally eat directly out of the paellera.[1][18][21][33]

Valencian paella

Valencian paella

This recipe is standardized[33][34][35][36] because Valencians consider it traditional and very much part of their culture. Rice in Valencian paella is never braised in oil, as pilau, though the paella made further southwest of Valencia often is.

  • Heat oil in a paellera.
  • Sauté meat after seasoning with salt.
  • Add green vegetables and sauté until soft.
  • Add garlic (optional), grated tomatoes, beans and sauté.
  • Add paprika and sauté.
  • Add water, saffron (or food coloring), snails and rosemary.
  • Boil to make broth and allow it to reduce by half.
  • Add rice and simmer until rice is cooked.
  • Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Seafood paella

Seafood paella

Recipes for this dish vary somewhat, even in Valencia. Below is a recipe by Juanry Segui, a prominent Valencian chef.[37]

  • Make a seafood broth from shrimp heads, onions, garlic and bay leaves.
  • Heat oil in a paellera.
  • Add mussels. Cook until they open and then remove.
  • Sauté Norway lobster and whole, deep-water rose shrimp. Then remove both the lobster and shrimp.
  • Add chopped cuttlefish and sauté.
  • Add shrimp tails and sauté.
  • Add garlic and sauté.
  • Add grated tomato and sauté.
  • Add rice and braise in sofrito.
  • Add paprika and sauté.
  • Add seafood broth and then saffron (or food coloring).
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Replace the deep-water rose shrimp, mussels and Norway lobster.
  • Simmer until rice is cooked.

Mixed paella

Red, mixed paella

There are countless mixed paella recipes. The following method is common to most of these. Seasoning depends greatly on individual preferences and regional influences. However, salt, saffron and garlic are almost always included.[38][39]

  • Make a broth from seafood, chicken, onions, garlic, bell peppers and bay leaf.
  • Heat oil in a paellera
  • Sear red bell pepper strips and set aside.
  • Sear crustaceans and set aside.
  • Sauté meat until golden brown.
  • Add garlic and sauté until brown.
  • Add grated tomatoes and sauté.
  • Add onions and bell peppers. Sauté until vegetables are tender.
  • Add dry seasonings except for salt.
  • Add rice.
  • Braise rice until covered with sofrito.
  • Add broth.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Add saffron (or food coloring).
  • Simmer until rice is almost cooked.
  • Replace crustaceans.
  • Continue simmering until rice and crustaceans are finished cooking.
  • Garnish with seared red bell pepper strips.

For all recipes

Paella usually has a layer of toasted rice at the bottom of the pan. This is considered a delicacy in Spain and is essential to a good paella. The toasted rice develops on its own if the paella is cooked over a burner or open fire. If cooked in an oven, however, it will not. To correct this, place the paellera over a high flame while listening to the rice toast at the bottom of the pan. Then, remove it from the heat once the aroma of toasted rice wafts upwards. The paella must then sit for about five minutes to absorb the remaining broth.

Competitions and records

It has become a custom at mass gatherings in the Valencian Community (festivals, political campaigns, protests, etc.) to prepare enormous paellas, sometimes to win mention in the Guinness Book of World Records.[40] Chefs make gargantuan paelleras for these events.

Valencian restaurateur Juan Galbis claims to have made the world's largest paella with help from a team of workers on 2 October 2001. This paella fed about 110,000 people according to Galbis' website.[41] Galbis says this paella was even larger than his earlier world-record paella made on 8 March 1992 which fed about 100,000 people. Galbis's record-breaking 1992 paella is listed in Guinness World Records[42]

Similar dishes

Arròs negre (also called arroz negro and paella negra)

Traditional Valencian cuisine offers recipes similar to paella valenciana and paella de marisco such as arròs negre, arrós al forn, arrós a banda and arrós en fesols i naps. Fideuà is a noodle dish variation of the paella cooked in a similar fashion, though it may be served with allioli sauce.

The following is a list of other similar rice dishes:

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Info about Paella on". 2009-12-15. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  2. ^ Delia Online -Rice(accessed 12/04/2008)
  3. ^ a b - Paella Rice(accessed 12/04/2008)
  4. ^ "Etymology of the word paella on the J. Robertson website". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  5. ^ "Etymology of the word paella on Yahoo's Education website". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  6. ^ Spain. "Etymology of the word paella on the website". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  7. ^ "Etymology of the word paella on the Your Dictionary website". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  8. ^ "Ancient meaning of the Latin word ''patella''". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  9. ^ "Meaning of the modern French word ''poêle''". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  10. ^ "English-Welsh dictionary provides the meaning of the modern Welsh word ''padell''". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  11. ^ "Meaning of the modern Italian word ''padella''". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  12. ^ "Meaning of the Spanish word ''padilla''". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  13. ^ "Polish dictionary". Polish dictionary. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  14. ^ John M. Lipski:La lengua española en los Estados Unidos : ... Unos nuevomexicanismos típicos son: ánsara 'ganso', ganso, cócano, jojolote 'pavo', puela 'sartén',...
  15. ^ "The Indoeuropean family presented on". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  16. ^ "Indoeuropean root for the Latin word ''patella''". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  17. ^ "Discussion in Spanish about the name of the pan and the recipe". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  18. ^ a b c d Lynne Olver (2009-09-16). "The Food Timeline presents a history of paella". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  19. ^ Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, La cocina de los mediterráneos, Ediciones B - Mexico
  20. ^ "César Besó Portalés, ''Vicente Blasco Ibáñez y el Naturalismo'', I.E.S. Clara Campoamor, Alaquás (Valencia)". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  21. ^ a b Tu nombre. "Arroz SOS presents a history of paella". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  22. ^ Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence. "Foodnetwork's paella recipe with seafood, chicken and chorizo". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  23. ^ "Epicurean's paella recipe with chorizo". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  24. ^ "An assortment of paella recipes". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  25. ^ Posted by roadside (2008-06-20). "International Dish". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  26. ^ "Dining-downunder, Australian paella". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  27. ^ Australian Institute of Sports, Seafood paella
  28. ^ Stephen C. Mason. "Style Paella (Philippine)". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  29. ^ "Sauerkraut-paella". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  30. ^ "Paella Swedish Style". 2006-03-08. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  31. ^ "seafood from Norway". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  32. ^ "Paella in Copenhagen". 2010-02-01. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  33. ^ a b "Chef Juanry Segui cooks a Valencian paella over an open fire". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  34. ^ Juan Galbis' recipe for Valencian paella
  35. ^ Marquès, Vicent (2004): Els millors arrossos valencians. Aldaia: Edicions Alfani.
  36. ^ "Casa Salavador restaurant in Cullera, Spain". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  37. ^ "Chef Juanry Segui's recipe for seafood paella". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  38. ^ "Mixed paella recipe". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  39. ^ 24 augustus 2007. "A Spanish grandmother near Madrid cooks her mixed paella recipe on video". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  40. ^ "Paella competitions". 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2010-02-19. 
  41. ^ Info on about world record paella
  42. ^ "Galbis's 1992 record listed on the Guinness website". Retrieved 2010-02-19. 

External links


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