Valencia is the undisputed home of the paella. Do you know what paella is?
Paella is a rice dish. The most popular version is a seafood paella but Valencia is known for its green vegetables with duck/rabbit/snails/chicken paella with a special seasoning. The Valencia paella is supposed to be the original paella.
The Spanish are proud of their paella. Paella Amor's blog has so many photos of the world's largest paella made in a huge pan that holds 13,000 lbs of rice. The 4,300 sq. ft. paella pan was stirred by giant cranes. How fascinating!
I was always so curious to taste what authentic paella tastes like, so in 2017, we found a really good deal on Scott's Cheap Flights and took a flight to Valencia, in Eastern Spain.
You know me. I was not about to kill any animals or fish so I called several places before this Spanish trip to find a spot that would serve me up some vegetarian, almost authentic paella. And, I did.
We made our way down to an area called Passeig De Neptu. It was indeed a beautiful area, right by the beach. Here, we found a restaurant, right on the beach called El Coso - which had both vegetarian and gluten-free options.
What you see here is a medium-grain rice (looks a bit like arborio but less creamy). It was full of eggplant and zucchini and you can taste the saffron too. No beans, or carrots or peppers or peas - but I wish it did.
We did not order any alcohol but we saw the award-winning La Papica wines everywhere. Apparently, La Papica has a legendary restaurant down the street from where we were as well as four great wines. The restaurant is frequented by celebrities and has been around since 1898.
The next day, I went around the streets of Valencia looking for a paella pan. I had spent time at home browsing paella pans on Amazon, but I thought getting the real thing from Valencia itself would serve me well. This was a really good idea, because I got lucky and found the pan size I was looking for. I also bought a paella seasoning and the paella rice.
Very grateful for this cultural experience. I am looking forward to making paella at home on Friday, March 27 - because it is National Spanish Paella Day! ¡Buen provecho!
If you would like to celebrate with me, you can find these things on Amazon.
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I was not paid to mention any of these brands or wines or restaurants. I am just documenting my experiences.