The original paella was considered a poor man's fare, and was usually made with a little bit of whatever was on hand. Today, it has become one of Spain s most popular and best-loved dishes!
Paella takes its name from "paella" - the Valencian word for pan, and the meal takes its name from the dish in which it is cooked.
During the centuries following the establishment of rice in Spain, the peasants of Valencia would use the paella pan to cook rice with readily available ingredients from the countryside: Tomatoes, Onions and Snails. On special occasions Rabbit or Duck might be included. Little by little this "Valencian rice" became more widely known. By the end of the nineteenth century "paella valenciana" had established itself.
Varieties of paella now have a home all over Spain, and each region contributes to its own variation. Paella Marinera is another favorite found in the South of Spain, and is made, of course, with seafood.
Paella is really a Sunday dish eaten when the whole family is together. In Spain, grandmothers can still be found making it in the back garden for the family on a special occasion. When cooked properly, paella has a rich golden crust, known as the socarrat, on the bottom, this is the best part YUM!!!