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Paella, hmmm. Only thinking of it gives me a food orgasm.

It’s true that it is mainly rice. And you might wonder, what is so special about rice? But you would be mistaken. There are a million ways to cook rice: starting with the Asian delights and finishing with the Italian risotto that makes my mouth water. So don’t tell me paella is not different. Because it is!

What Makes Paella so Different?

paella is the result of a combination between Roman (pan) and Arabic (rice) cultures.

– “baqiyah” is the Arab word for paella and it means left-overs. An old legend says that the servants of the Moorish kinds put together dishes of rice with the left-overs that remained from banquets. This is how paella came to life.

– paella is the pan in which the recipe is cooked (Latin patella). The size of the pan grew considerably from its appearance because it was more convenient if you wanted to cook a big meal for a group of people. And since Spain doesn’t have many forests or timber, the little branches or twigs that came from pruning were used to make quick fires on which paella was cooked.

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– there are two types of rice that are used for this dish. The small rounded medium size grain that cooks well and absorbs the flavors and the Risotto rice that breaks up during cooking and has a creamier texture.

Where to Eat the Best Paella?

1. La Marcelina– opened in 1888 and located on Av/Neptuno 8, Las Arenas. For reservations call +34 96 371 20 25.

2. Restaurante La Alegría de la Huerta – is located right by the beach on Paseo Marítimo, modulo 6, Malvarossa. Call +34 96 355 05 07 for reservations.

3. La Riuá – a fabulous place where you won’t meet as many tourists as in other parts. It is located on “Calle del Mar, 27”, very close to the center.

4. Restaurante El Forcart – is placed next to Torres de Serranos on– c/Roteros 12. Call +34 96 391 12 13 for reservations.

5. Ana Eva – one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in Valencia which opened in 1983. During the summer they use vegetables that they grow in their own gardens. You can find it on Calle Turia 49 or you can call +34 963 915 369 for reservations.

6. Casa Roberto – and last but not least, you have Casa Roberto, located on  C/Maestro Gozalbo 19. The prices here are pretty high but this is one of the best places to eat extraordinary paella. Valencians come here when they have important events to celebrate, so it must be good.

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If you feel like trying paella at home you can also try this delicious recipe. It is very easy to prepare and tastes amazing! Again, Jamie knows what he’s talking about!

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