International Paella Day is next week, get the pans out—or go out!

Paella maker in Barcelona/Shutterstock Images

Paella Day is celebrated worldwide on Monday, March 27, 2023. There are uncountable variations of paella so that everyone can discover their own favorite paella recipe on Paella Day.

Considered by many to be the national dish of Spain, paella originated, as many traditional dishes do, as “peasant” food — a lunchtime rice dish prepared by workers in the field over an open fire.

The bigger the pan one uses, the more friends and family can be invited to eat paella on Spanish Paella Day. Always cooked in a round, flat bottomed pan with handles, the dish most likely takes its name from the Latin term “patella,” a flat plate on which offerings were made to the gods. The open flame is essential, as it creates the layer of toasted rice at the bottom of the pan that is essential and unique to paella. Delicious!

The basis for a traditional paella is rice. Saffron gives the paella its typical yellowish color. Apart from rice and saffron anything that the chef feels comfortable with can be added. Very popular are chicken, prawns and fish but also diverse vegetables like beans, peas or carrots make the perfect dish on Spanish Paella Day.

The world´s largest paella pan served 110 000 people. It was 21 meters in diameter and needed the army’s support in order to distribute the food! 80 chefs were involved in the cook which took from 9am till 1pm. The pan weighed 32 tonnes.

Many restaurants choose to close on Sundays and Mondays in Spain, so check your favourite eateries´ opening hours and enjoy your paella if you go out, and if you cook, enjoy that too!

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