Paella, origin of a myth

by Friday, August 12, 2011

Here at Formentera one most discussed topics at the beach and’ paella. When she was born and how it’ the original version? Here is the answer.

The paella was almost certainly in the area of Lake “The Albufera”, in the 17th century.
The first mention of paella (or rice valenciana) appears in a manuscript in Catalan of the 18th century. Since then the paella part in the conquest of the entire world, spread first in Spain thanks to the chef Auguste Escoffier, then in Belgium and then, Since the beginning of the 1900, Around the world.

The paella was born as a poor dish prepared by the inhabitants of the area of the Lake “The Albufera”, using the ingredients at their disposal, namely anguilla, snails and green beans: These were the only ingredients of the first version of paella. It is possible that you have prepared dish of rice with other ingredients available in that area, especially chicken and rabbit, In addition of course to the sea fish.
Like all the poor who become famous, the paella has undergone a very enriching and changes to adapt to the ingredients and tastes of people who annually imported into their respective countries. Already starting from 1885 in the text “Novísimo manual práctico de cocina española” There are differences compared to the original recipe.
In America (in New York City) the paella was famous prepared with chicken, popular dish from Roosevelt.
Starting from the years ' 60, with the tourist boom, the paella is the Spanish national dish, prepared anywhere in Spain, not only in the region of Valencia, and accordingly is enriched with ingredients and flavors to satisfy every type of palate.
Currently, the paella is mainly in 2 variants:
– paella de marisco (or marinera), i.e. based on fish (mainly prawns and mussels);
– paella mixta, fish and meat (chicken, pig, snails).
Preparation of paella
According to the famous chef Ángel Muro, as indicated in his book Practicón, paella prepared with a mixture of lard or olive oil and chilli, to which you add the meat (sausages or pork loin, chicken, etc), the vegetables (artichokes, peas), tomato, parsley, cloves, Saffron and paprika.
Everything is prepared in the classic low Pan, with the addition of water or broth to cook the rice.
Best rice cookers for preparing paella is a rice for risotto, so our Carnaroli or Vialone nano are perfect.

In Spain the most suitable rice is the famous “Arroz bomba”, a PDO that rice is grown in the area of the Murgia. The rice must be mixed very well to release starches that give creaminess and texture to the risotto, and rest for one minute once ready. Paella is a genuine risotto: It should not be brodosa and rice should be al dente.
Much appreciated part of paella, called socarrat, where leggemente burned rice (Quemada) Thanks to Maillard reactions bought a very intense taste.
In the restaurants of “El Palmar”, one of the most typical places where you can enjoy a real paella valenciana, prepares in different variants.
Eat paella

A symbol of preparation of paella is El Palmar, fishing village where you will find many restaurants where to taste the Paellas and other rice dishes (as the arroz a banda, a seafood risotto with garlic) and a magnificent eel soup, local dish.
All the rice dishes are prepared for minimum two people, but quiet: eating abundantly in four saw that portions are very, very abundant.


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