I come from Valencia, the birthplace of paella, and as such, I feel very identified with it. Paella, known worldwide as Spain’s national dish, is not a recipe, or better, is not just a recipe, but in its birthplace, it is an event, an expression of a land and its people, an excuse to celebrate. Nos vamos de paella, ‘we’re going for a paella’, an expression so often used when referring to it in Spain, means not only ‘we’re going to eat the dish’, but also we’re going to party, we’re going to celebrate, we’re going to picnic. It means we’re going to build the campfire, we’re going to open a bottle of wine, we’re going to laugh as we cook, and we’re going to share it amidst a festive ambiance. Probably that’s why the paella, in Valencia, is usually prepared on Sundays. Paella is an hours long event that can’t be rushed in any of its aspects. Good food. Good friends. Family.
But I wouldn’t have had another paella outside of Spain if that were the process I had to follow every time I wanted one… And I can’t count the number of paellas I’ve made since leaving Spain years ago, so… Yes, there are ways to make paella that don’t involve a campfire, and there are even ingredients that you can substitute and still get an outstanding result. I’ve cooked paella on our backyard fire pit, but also on the grill and, in the winter months, on the stove. Sure, I won’t trade the experience of enjoying paella in Spain—the event and the process itself—, but I won’t give up having a good paella in Indiana either.
Paella, for obvious reasons, will have a prominent place in this blog, where I will be posting different paella recipes —including the traditional Valencian paella, of course! And I will show you the ways to make it a star dish, even in the Midwest.
For tips and notes, the utensils, tips, tricks and more, click on the links below