Most people know what paella is. It’s gorgeous rice dish made in a special pan, which is native to Spain, and is often full of seafood. But the original paella is from the region of Valencia, and it doesn’t include any seafood at all! While you can get options in Valencia that do include seafood, the original and traditional kind is completely different and insanely delicious.
Paella has been around for centuries, but the paella eaten today has been around since the mid-19th century.
The paella in Valencia has three staple ingredients in addition to the rice: rabbit, chicken (sometimes duck), and snails. The vegetables used in it are green beans, butter beans or lima beans, and when they’re in season, some places will also put in artichokes.
The combination of all these ingredients makes for such a unique experience with a range of textures and flavors that are simply unbeatable. Although it might seem strange at first that there are little snails in their shells inside a paella, they really don’t taste bizarre and work really well in the paella alongside the other ingredients.
Though you might be given a plate to scoop the paella along with the pan of paella, traditionally you’re just supposed to eat right out of the pan with a spoon! So the next time you’re in Valencia, you’ll know what to do when you order paella.