We cook with what is available. Another thing is that we are used to having everything now. But Not so long ago, there was a time when people cooked with what they had.. Recipes varied by venue and were truly seasonal.
Today, cooking is gastronomy, that is, culture, pleasure and food. But before that, there was survival. Cooks almost always cooks made do with what they hadoutside his garden or nearest market.
Do all this to explain that arguments over which ingredients have this or that dish are often ridiculous. There was a time when Gazpacho was made without tomatoes (no, it hadn’t crossed the Atlantic Ocean yet). Same way Years ago paella was made from eel and…rat! (especially the swamp mouse).
There was a time when gazpacho was made without tomatoes and paella was made with eel and rat.
It has been said many times by Rafael Vidal, a veteran Valencian chef who has traveled the world (and even cooked in Las Vegas) to spread (and cook) the flavors of Valencian paella. that pan The real thing of the 21st century, no mouse and it’s rare to find someone using eel nowadays.
Like Vidal, businessman Enrique Bañuelos fake paellas i.e. fake ingredients Bañuelos of paella went on to found the Valencian Paella Institute.
After touring the towns and villages of Valencia, here is the result of both: Valencia paella contains 10 ingredients: fat, chicken, rabbit, flat beans, wardrobe (Valencia beans), tomatoes, water, salt, saffron and rice.
A recent study by researchers from the Catholic University of Valencia came to the same conclusion, published in the magazine International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science. These are the ten essential components.
According to research by the Catholic University of Valencia, after a survey of nearly 400 nonprofessional chefs from 266 towns and cities in the state of Valencia, 38 common components and 50 more that are used occasionally.
Artichokes are also put on it in winter and depending on the location, and there is an intense debate about whether it is paprika or garlic (some do). visible component staying on track are snailsused less and less.
Authentic paella at a beach bar?
Having said all this, there is a truth. It’s summer, we’re at the beach and we want to eat. The beach bar is right here and eating almost on the sand is especially good for us. Here we go. And look: there’s paella on the menu! We’re lucky…or not.
Many beach bars add shrimp, Norwegian lobster or small crabs as they believe this is what tourists want.
If we are in the Valencian Community, a more or less authentic Valencian paella (which will be rice in Alicante) is likely to be offered. Well, many will have added them shrimp, Norwegian lobster, small crabs, or a few pieces of squid because they believe that this is what the foreign tourist wants.
Frankly, the further we get from Valencia, the more likely we are to encounter fake paella. We know the 10 must-have ingredients, but it’s true that a sea and a mountain never hurt anyone (Bad beach bars call it mixed paella).
So more than what it contains is what a paella should NEVER contain, even if it’s a summer beach bar outside of Valencia and in mid-August. if we see onions, peppers, peas or chorizo… no, no and no. Waiter, this is not Valencian paella!
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