The large pan, the colorful ingredients plus the tasty spices make paella popular far beyond Spain. So quickly discover more about this typical Spanish rice dish!


The first paellas were made by the inhabitants of inland Valencia region. The Moors, who dominated Spain for centuries, introduced a new type of rice here in the 8th century. Due to its high absorption capacity, this rice was ideal for rice dishes with broth because the taste was well absorbed. Mixed with the typical ingredients from the inland of Valencia, the original variant of the paella was created; with rabbit, snails or chicken plus tomatoes and beans. The beautiful yellow color of the Valencian dish is due to the addition of saffron.

The special pan

Just like the typical Portuguese dish cataplana, paella owes its name to the pan used for its preparation. Patella is Latin for pan. This word was corrupted into paella in Valencian. A special feature of the pan is its large, flat shape. There are also colossal examples of these pans that are used at Spanish festivals, where a gigantic version of the meal is prepared on a large fire.

Discover the different types

When the paella started to be introduced in more parts of Spain, more and more variants appeared. In addition to the original Valencian version, for example, the paella marinera was created. It is made with fish or seafood. A combination of the two is also common. Furthermore, the dish can also be prepared with a combination of meat with seafood or fish. This is called a paella mixta. Are you vegetarian? Then you should try the paella de verduras when in Spain.

Make your own

Paella is a recipe that invites you to come up with your own variant. The most important basis of a good version is the right rice, such as the arroz de bomba. This is because it has short, round rice grains with a high absorption capacity. Furthermore, a real paella pan is important. Because it is wide and shallow, the rice is cooked optimally and gets the most flavor. To master the basics, try the recipe for an authentic paella. Or make a vegetarian version.

Traditional dishes usually taste the best in the country of origin. Would you like to taste the rice dish under the Spanish sun? Then quickly book a holiday home in Spain!

(photo (c) Can Stock Photo / rosselladegradi)

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