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Paella Has No Seafood

Updated on June 14, 2017

Origins of the paella

The paella, as many people know, is a typical dish of Valencian gastronomy which one year after the other it is getting famous and famous, but almost nobody can identify more than rice as ingredient.

No one can date this recipe accurately but is said that it came to the peninsula by the eastern coasts of Spain around 330 BC. C. from Asia; thanks to Alexander the Great and thanks for the provisions of irrigation of Valencia, afterwards it would be established in the region.

Over the years, this recipe has evolved a lot and it began being cooked in an iron paella and firewood, to be cooked with a paella made of the latest generation materials and above a glass ceramic, and not just the tradition of cooking has been changed, also the ingredients that compose the paella had been added (or removed) in the last decade, such as the snails, red pepper and even artichokes but always produce from the Valencian vegetable orchard.

Paella as marketing

Since long time ago, some restaurants (including in Valencia) are adding products that do not correspond in any way to the paella, I speak about the ingredients such as prawns, peas, mussels and even egg or chorizo, ingredients that I am sure you saw in one way or another one but in any case belong to the original recipe.

There is no concrete fact that can determine why paella has undergone this evolution from meat to fish, but my own theory focuses on certain city, a point in Catalonia and nowadays nerve-center of the international tourism: Barcelona.

For some people it may seem rather stupid what you are reading, and maybe it is, but I may change my mind by reading my own theory: it is untenable that Barcelona is one of the most touristic cities in the terrestrial sphere, and certain is Also that Catalonia has a dish very similar to paella, which they even dare call paella, but with variations on some ingredients (basically their paella has seafood instead of meat). That said, the huge amount of tourists who can visit Barcelona and try their paella during the year is uncountable and therefore these tourists in a more or less near future will visit Valencia, Pamplona or Bilbao, so it is not surprising that nowadays we see in any Spanish city, and I even dare to say almost in any European city, with a respectable number of tourists, its menu in which we can almost certainly find paella as first or second.

With the paella booming and the marketing that this supposes for Spain and its restaurants, these will park the tradition and culture and they will not let pass the wave of opportunities that the tourists suppose for their business, and is that the decisive factor for That a French, German or Japanese enters a restaurant or another, depends to a great extent on the similarity of the paella that the restaurant offers and the one that the tourists tried in Las Ramblas or the Barceloneta.

The paella above all

However, it is not all negative since the fact that each restaurant and city of Spain has paella in its menu, is a great pride for Valencians as this indicates how important is the gastronomic world and what it represents. I know that it is not easy after decades serving the paella with prawns and peas to change them for garrofó and rabbit but no matter how rich the paella is with prawns or mussels, I must say: paella has no seafood.


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