Named after the pan in which it is cooked, paella is the greatest symbol of Valencian cuisineFamed throughout the world, its origin comes from the combination of ingredients easily accessible to families, especially from the Valencian countryside.  Made with the freshest components including farm vegetables, rice, meat (such as chicken, and rabbit), the result is a delicious Valencian dish that is a large part of Spanish gastronomy.  Are you a seafood lover?  If so, then you must try lobster paella – one of the most distinguished and delectable varieties in popular Valencian cuisine.

The basics behind Valencian cooking (and a great paella) consists of ingredients that are well stocked with quality products. These form part of an important heritage built up over the centuries.  Whether caught from the sea using coastal fishing techniques, or grown in the soil and the warm sun, many of these products are linked to the geographical areas they thrive in.  From olive oil from Sierra de Espadán, to bell peppers from Guardamar, to giant prawns from Vinaròs, to cheese from La Nucia, nothing falls short of delicious.  Today, on the brink of the 21st century, food suppliers have become increasingly global in their approach, offering new products and materials that more manmade and easily accessible.  Thus, preserving the age-old traditions of Valencian cooking and culinary styles is a true luxury that local gastronomists have come to cherish.

Paella is a unique dish which is particularly revered in Valencia.  That said, locally-grown rice is one of its main ingredients.  It is prepared and cooked in a special way and is quite celebrated in the Valencian culture.  It’s worth noting that rice is also an integral part of much of the Spanish cuisine we love and adore.  Valencian food critic Antonio Vergara states that “the Spanish Mediterranean is like a tiny China. The difference is that our methods of cooking rice are much more entertaining, more colorful, and more pleasing to the eye then those of China“.

Want to try making paella for yourself?  You can!  There are many wonderful recipes online to help you create your very own Valencian recipe at home.  But don’t forget the saffron – it’s an essential spice used in a great paella!  Or if you’re like me, and love to travel out for a great meal out, book a table online at a local restaurant when in town.  There, you will find all kinds of menus to enjoy this delicious Valencian cuisine with just one click.  Visit  for more information.  If you like good food, Valencia offers you a true gastronomic feast.  Disfrute de su comida!

Samantha Meloni


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