By Damon Mitchell • 20 September 2020 • 10:26
TODAY, Sunday, September 20, we celebrate World Paella Day! Without a doubt, paella is the most internationally known dish to come out of Spain. But why on September 20?
Well, the reason World Paella Day is held on this day coincides with one of the most important moments in the essential ingredient of paella, rice: the harvest.
Paella is originally and typically a dish from the Valencian region and Paella Valenciana consists of round grain rice, green beans, rabbit, chicken, sometimes duck, butter beans and optionally snails.
There are two theories about the origin of the word “paella”. The most accepted of all is the one that indicates that it comes from Latin since frying pan in this language is written «patella». The word “paella” translates as frying pan in Valencian.
The origin of paella dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries in the rural areas of Valencia. Peasants and shepherds needed food that was easy to prepare, and that they could make with the ingredients they had on hand in the field.
Paella has four basic ingredients: rice, saffron, chicken or rabbit meat and sweet paprika. Now, it cannot be prepared with just any type of rice. You have to choose one of the following varieties: Bomba, Albufera, Bahía or Senia.
Over the years we have seen different versions of paella in restaurants around the world, some of which have been described as a “gastronomic crime”. But there was one that caught everyone’s attention, and many Valencians were furious: a restaurant in New York prepared a paella with turtle.
On World Paella Day it should be remembered that the original recipe had something rather unsavoury included.. a rat. Yes, rat. Today it is a protected species, so no restaurant cooks it. It has been replaced by chicken or rabbit meat.
World’s largest paella
In 1992 Antonio Galbis prepared the largest paella in the world, and he won the Guinness Record for it. He built a paella in Valencia with no more and no less than 20 metres in diameter and fed 100,000 people. The empty cauldron weighed almost 30 tons.
We hope you enjoyed this article “Will you try your hand at the Valencian dish on World Paella Day?”
You may also wish to read “Taking part in Paella Day?”.
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