We are sure you know about the famous paella; you may have tried it before, and maybe you have even cooked it at your house, but…Do you know everything about paella? As we said in another article, most Spaniards consider the paella their national dish, and internationally is probably the most famous food of Spain, but there are still many curiosities about paella that only a few have heard about. Here is our list of interesting facts about paella:
1) The name “paella” doesn´t refer to the rice
Probably the biggest fun fact about paella is that its actual name was not supposed to be the real name. The word “paella” comes from the Latin, and it actually means “pan” or “dish”. So yes, it refers to the container where it´s cooked and not the rice.
What happened is that a long time ago, where paella was only famous in the Valencian Community, a famous newspaper wrote about the dish and the rice calling it by the name “paella”. Since then, this meal started to become more popular, and everyone began to call it that way.
2) Not every yellow rice is a paella!
We don´t really have a problem when people say that a yellow rice a paella, but Valencians have a very different opinion about it.
Not so long time ago, we visited the region of Alicante and tried one of their delicious rice dishes (which by the way, are very similar to paella). Well, we posted on social media about it, and received more than 500 comments from people of Valencia saying that it was not a paella, as they said, it was just “Rice with things”.
You need to understand that for Valencians, there is just one “AUTHENTIC” paella, and it´s the one with chicken and not seafood at all. Anyway, we will keep calling the rest of the dishes as paella.
3) There are a million varieties of “paella”
I guess in this case we are naming paella to all those rice dishes, but it´s unbelievable the amount of paella plates Spanish people has created after the original one.
We actually tell you all about the different types of paella you can eat in Spain in another article, but as a brief summary, we can already say that some of the best are black paella, arroz a banda and lobster rice. Choosing which is your favorite is a hard work.
Although it is true that there are many varieties, there are only three that are known internationally. These are the Valencian or Chicken paella, the seafood paella and the mixed paella (Which is a combination of the two mentioned before).
4) There is even a “National day of Paella”
Imagine how crazy are Spanish people for paella that they have even created a national day to celebrate how good is the taste of this dish.
The national paella day is celebrated on the 27th of March, right when the weather starts to be better on the Valencian Community. As a tourist, some of the activities you can do on this day is to take a paella class to learn how to make it and of course have a “paella party” with your family or friends.
It´s just one of those fun facts about paella, but being more serious, we truly recommend you eating a paella on this day.
5) Which is the biggest paella ever made?
When a food is very popular, people want to make world record´s with it, we don´t know why, but it happens. This also occurred with the paella, and of course the challenge here was to make the biggest paella on the history. Listen carefully, because this is the most interesting fact about Spanish paella.
In 1990, the Valencian company Galbis made the biggest paella. More than 100.000 people ate out of it, crazy right? Well, in 2013 the world record of the biggest paella in the world was broken by the same company, but in this case the paella served more than 110.000 people and it measured 21.5 meters wide.
To make it they used 6,000kg of rice, 12,000kg of chicken and rabbit, 5,000 of vegetables and many other ingredients. They needed 80 chefs to make it!!!!
6) The best part of the paella is the «socarrat»
Here is one of the most curious paella fun facts. It´s hard to believe, but although all the paella dish tastes delicious, the favorite part for most Spanish people is the «socarrat», which is a thing layer located at the bottom ofthe pan.
Some may think this part is almost burned, and it´s not really worth it, but when it´s well done, it will just be a little bit more done and with a crunchy texture.
Don´t be surprised when you see everyone calling to have the dish with with the «scorched» part of the rice.
Do you know other Spanish paella facts?
This was our list of the top 5 facts about paella in Spain, but since it´s such a curious and interesting dish, we know there are many other curiosities that we haven´t heard about. Let us know in the comments if you know any.
Hope you enjoyed reading the facts about paella Valenciana, and if you have any question or suggestion, don´t be shy and ask us!