Paella is one of the most traditional dishes in Spain. Cooked generation after generation in Valencian houses, this dish has earned its place at all Spanish tables thanks to its unique flavor. Its origin shows us that there is no single recipe, but over the years many myths have been created about paella.
Myths about paella
Myths about paella and its ingredients
Despite the fact that in many restaurants they cook paellas of different types, they are not paellas. The authentic paella is the one that has as ingredients water, rice, chicken, rabbit, tomato, horseshoe beans, carob, olive oil, salt and saffron. In some areas of Valencia, other ingredients such as snails or artichokes are allowed, or use rosemary as a seasoning at some point of cooking. Any other ingredient that is added will cause the denomination of paella to be lost and become “arroz con cosas”.
One of the most common mistakes in cooking, and a great myth, is the use of lemon. It is better that you do not use it because the combination of acid with starch makes it difficult to start the first phase of digestion.
Is the container called a paellera?
Many people call the container in which we cook the dish paellera, but it is not called that. It’s called paella and that’s where the name of the dish came from. Paellera is the person in charge of cooking the dish.
What kind of water do we use?
One of the most widespread myths about this dish is the water with which we cook it. It is said that Valencian water is the most suitable due to its hardness which prevents the rice from going bad, but this is not entirely true. Any water is good since the trick is not found in the origin of the water but in the proportion of rice and broth.
Wood or gas?
Many discussions about how this dish is cooked. The Valencians say that to cook a good paella it must be done with firewood, specifically orange wood due to the aroma that it gives off with the smoke, which is then impregnated in the grain, giving the rice the necessary touch.
The paella is placed in the center
A good paella should be enjoyed in good company and in the center of the table, where each guest can eat as they please. For convenience in many places they are served on plates, but this is not the way to do it. Always remember in the center of the table and each one with his wooden spoon.
The myths about paella are often due to the spread of this dish throughout the peninsula. Upon reaching other communities, many cooks innovate by creating dishes that are not traditional paella, and with it the debate about the ingredients, the container, how eat the plate and a long etcetera. From la paella en casa we create the traditional paella and we take it home, so that you can enjoy an exquisite dish with the best company. And if you know any other myth, do not hesitate to tell us.