Here’s a new take on paella types… I know you’ve most likely heard of paella, and you may have tasted it, but do you know what type of paella it was? Unless you come to Spain a lot, or you’re a foodie who loves paella, it’s unlikely that you realise how many variations on the theme there are. I have fondly nicknamed some of these, so they may be easier for you to remember. But then I decided to begin a quest to find the Original Paella, and found it!
So let me talk you though some of my paella nicknames first, and then all you need to do is think of these cartoon characters when you need to figure out what paella to choose.
Let Me Introduce You To The Different Types Of Paella:
The Bugs Bunny/Tweety Pie Paella or as it’s more commonly known “Paella Valenciana” – this is made of rabbit and chicken.
The Miss Piggy/Tweety Pie Paella – which is Paella Mixta – made of pork and chicken.
The Popeye Paella or as most people call it – Paella Marinera/Marisco – that’s made of seafood and fish
And after these main ones there’s an endless amount of variations on the theme:
So there’s a paella out there that should suit most tastes.
The Original Paella
But of course you want to know what is the Original Paella. The original of the species is the “Paella Valenciana”. The Paella Valenciana is made with products from the region, so the rice from L’Albufera of Valencia and vegetables from the region or Huerta Valenciana (Valencian Orchard).
Of course a lot of regions have used the recipe and adapted the recipe for their available products. This means that you also can adapt the Original Paella to the ingredients that are available in your region. At the end of the article there are links of a step-by-step how to make a Paella. They are in Spanish, but on the page there is the translate option. I decided to use these recipes because in my opinion they’re the best.
If you have a paella pan it’s fairly easy to do. I’d recommend using a paella pan because I’ve tried with terracotta and the taste is completely different. It’s best to begin using basic ingredients like pork and chicken.
You can easily change the typical Valencian products for the ones available in your region, example:
Garrofón & Judía blanca o tabella = White beans (previously slightly cooked, they will be cooking about 20 minutes in the Paella Pan)
Pimenton Rojo = Paprika
Azafran = Saffron (if you don’t have it, don’t worry)
And this can be done outside or inside your place with wood, gas or electric fire.
There are only a few secrets, at the beginning the fire has to be strong and than when you put rice to be lower. When you add the “pimenton rojo” the fire has to be slow, or otherwise the final taste can be very bitter.
When you add water you need to put water almost to the top of the paella pan. Then when the water has boiled off to half of the “remaches” (these are the part inside the paella pan that you can see is the inner part of where the handles are attached to) then that is the time to add the rice!
You need to be careful with salt, because it can happen that you taste it when there’s a lot of water and it seemed ok but when the water evaporates it’s too salty.
Some Great Paella Places
Vinaros in Chiringuito Callau/Callao the best Paella we’ve ever had. This place only opens up for a couple of months it the summer. It’s in a lovely setting right by the sea, and Mama makes the paella with love!! If you want to go here, it’s best to pop in a day or two before, and book it. They expect the paella to be booked, as do some other restaurants. Go for an early evening drink to watch the sea and reserve your table.
Nerja- Ayo – good paella in an amazing setting, you’ve got your feet on a sandy floor, as it’s right by the beach. Ayo featured in the TV series Verano Azul (Blue Summer) which was a huge hit in Spain and Portugal, we wouldn’t have seen it in Ireland and the UK. The owner is, and looks like a character! In the summer you need to get there early by Spanish standards, around 1pm, on a Sunday, if you want to get a table.
Valencia – Casa Clemencia – the traditional one!
Any questions just pop them into the comments, and I’ll be happy to help you out. If you make a paella after reading this, please send us the photo, we’d love to post it here.
History of Paella: