Spanish locals won´t ever agree with which kind of paella is the best, but for everyone who is visiting the country, is important to at least get to know the different varieties before choosing the one they want to eat. Today we are going to tell you, what are the different types of paella and where will you able to eat them:
1) Valencian paella
Of course, the only way to start talking about the different kinds of paella is with the original one, and that´s the Valencian paella or also known as chicken paella.
The recipe consists of mixing the short-grain rice with chicken thighs, rabbit, garlic, tomato, saffron and at least two types of beans (Green and butter beans). It takes around 1 hours and fifteen minutes to make it, and if you want it properly done, it needs to be made with a “paellera” (paella pan).
The chicken paella is very unique and the people from Valencia are very exquisite about it. When there is a “paella” that it´s done in a different way than the traditional, they would normally say that it cannot be considered paella. They literally say it´s rice with things.
2) Seafood paella
Another of the most common types of paella is the one with seafood. Actually, the seafood paella is the one that fights with the Valencian paella for the title of the best Spanish paella.
With the exception of Valencia, In the majority of the restaurants of the country, seafood paella is the option you will find the most. This dish is made with prawns, calamari, clams and of course the two key ingredients that never miss: Mussels and shrimps. When this paella is done with five seafood ingredients is recognized as “Paella Marinera”.
Spanish locals are very proud of their seafood, and that´s why in areas like Catalonia or Andalusia this variation of paella is so popular.
3) Paella Mixta
The name of this kind of paella says it all. In case you can´t decide which paella you want to try, the one with seafood or the chicken-style, then we recommend you trying the famous “Paella Mixta” or in English, mixed paella.
It may sound too simple, but mixed paella is made with the ingredients of both types. On one side it contains seafoods like mussels or shrimps and on the other side it has chicken or rabbit.
This dish is very famous in the south of Spain, and some people even know it as “Paella Andaluza”. Many restaurants offer this paella as they know that tourists like to try both types.
4) Vegetarian Paella
As its name says, it´s a vegetarian paella, which means it doesn´t contain seafood or meat. There are more people following a vegetarian diet everyday, and they also have the right to eat one of the best foods of Spain. For this reason, in the recent years many people tried to create a vegetarian paella and although at the beginning the results were not so great, the truth is that lately some of these recipes are so incredible that you won´t even realized they don´t contain meat or fish.
Most of the recipes are made with artichokes, asparagus, beans and depending on who makes it, you can also see them with potatoes, mushrooms, olives or even green and red pepper.
There are not many restaurants in Spain that offer this variety of paella, but we totally recommend you making it at home as it´s delicious and it takes even less time than the original one.
5) Black paella
Another of the best types of paella is the “Arrós negre” or also known as black paella. This recipe also has its origins in the Valencian community, but it´s very popular in Galicia and Catalonia.
If you see the recipe to make black paella you will be surprised because it´s done in a very similar way to seafood paella. The reason why it has a black color is the octopus or squid ink, which not only changes the way it looks, but also its flavor (It´s way stronger).
For tourists is not the best option, as many people think is very strong. Now, we have to say that Spanish locals love this dish, and if you have a similar taste, we totally recommend you trying it.
Other variations of paella
The ones we have just told you are the most famous types of Spanish paella, but there are more options. Although many people consider these as normal Spanish rice, the truth is that they are also made in a paella pan.
For example, one of the varieties is the Lobster paella, which it could also be included as seafood paella, but the taste is very different. Another variation of paella is the one known as «baked rice», which is from Alicante and is made with cured meats.
Other than the recognized paellas, you will also find specific paellas in each region of Spain that are made with the typical ingredients of the area.
Which are your favorite kinds of paella?
That´s all you need to know about the different paella types, as you have seen there are many of them and each one is completely different. Before leaving, we would love to know which is the type of paella you like the most?
Hope you enjoyed reading the article, and if you have any other question or suggestion, please let us know!