You open the door, a small bell is rang above your head. The first thing you experience isn’t the smiling face of a waiter holding a menu. It’s the intense flavorful smell of saffron. You pause momentarily, and realize your mouth is watering but you haven’t even made it to the table yet. You glance around the small rustic restaurant, searching for the culprit of this delightful smell. Bingo. There, sitting in a large silver platter, is the source of your culinary search: Paella.
Paella can be a mixture of quite anything but traditionally it has a combination of chicken, shellfish, fish, beans, peppers, the signature spice, saffron, and Spanish rice. Paella began in a region of Spain called Valencia. The word Paella in Arabian is “Baqiyah” which means leftovers.
Here’s the beautiful thing about Paella. It takes around 20 minutes to prep all the ingredients but then, this mixture of delicious meats and rice slow cooks for 30 to 45 minutes. This gives the saffron a chance to blossom throughout the dish and make it the perfect Spanish meal. This is not just a meal you can run to any restaurant and get. This is a meal that should be paired with a great glass of wine to sip on while you wait the few extra minutes for your meal to finish refining.