Gastrodates: Many parents and few certainties
seafood paella

Gastrodates: Many parents and few certainties

Fideua Seafood / Damian Arienza

Despite his young age, the fideuá recipe had almost as many alleged inventors as noodles.

Ana Vega Perez de Arlucea

If there was a prize for the fastest conquering recipe of the whole world, fideuá would have many ballots to win it. It would certainly advance hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and many other dishes that are now global but took a long time to gain worldwide fame. I bet I would say the final duel would take place between the ubiquitous sriracha sauce (which originated in Thailand in the 1940s) and our wonderful fideuá, who came out of anonymity with the first edition of Gandía International Fideuá in 1975. The competition, and a few years later it was held in restaurants around the world.

The value of this frank disclosure obviously lies in the genius of the food, but also in the promotional work of the institutions of the native Gandía, who know how to appreciate and spread the gastronomic treasure at their disposal. Unfortunately, they haven’t devoted the same effort to researching fideuá’s origins and advertising its culinary benefits. If you don’t remember the official version, it says that around 1912, Santa Isabel, the cook on a fishing boat from Gandia, had to change his plan to prepare seafood paella on the spot when he learned that there was no rice board. . Neither short nor lazy, she supposedly began cutting noodles, inventing a finger-licking recipe that “added it to the paella as if it were really rice and treated it like that”.

In 1898, just 14 years before this hypothetical scene, Valencian painter Joaquín Sorolla depicted some fishermen eating on a boat. What is pictured is much closer to reality than the fictitious official myth: poverty, insecurity, hard work, and shared hunger. I’m not saying all the fishermen in Valencia ate with their hands, but what they cooked on the daily farm were long, wave-proof cauldrons, not big, low-sided paellas.

What is really likely is that these sailors from Santa Isabel prepared some sort of arroz bandage that replaced the grass for noodles, but due to force majeure they were unable to use the paella as a kitchen tool, so the result had to be soup.

And the elegance of fideuá is not only in pasta, which in Levantine gastronomy leads to boredom, but also in the fact that someone has the idea to use it in the same way as rice in a paella, so that, soaked in aroma, dry, limp and excuse the excess, some noodles made in paella are obtained.

It’s a proven fact that Fideuá arouses passion among diners, but it also does among historians. Remember the military chief who advocated being the grandson of the Fideuá invention? The truth is that his grandfather, Mr. Emilio López Bonías, is undoubtedly saying this with all the love in the world, although he is not the creator of the dish, but its biggest supporter. Working in numerous restaurants in both Valencia and Gandía, López Bonías was the second town chef of the famous Hotel Europa, the Ducal restaurant and, from 1967, the newly opened Club Náutico de Gandía. He perfected his own fideuá recipe in the 1950s and 1960s (he always added a little anise to it) and played a key role in popularizing it, but he wasn’t the one who started the first “eureka” fideuaero.

Among the ten original inventors of the formula are, for example, Gabriel Rodriguez Pastor, a ship cook, and his assistant Joan Batiste ‘Zábalo’ Pascual, born in 1915. Although the origin of the fideuá, according to most theories, the discovery did not result from an omission or miscalculation in the provisions: it is said that the captain of the boat was very greedy and the cooks wanted to starve him instead. rice for noodles.

According to another version, the first dry or modern fideuá was prepared in the 1930s by two women, doctor Bellver’s cook, and Miss Joaquina Pellicer on the occasion of a banquet. Others say he was born in Casa La Pastaora, one of the many picnic areas that existed on the coast of Gandía before full urbanization.

The famous historian Vicente Gurrea Crespo also seems to have spent hours researching this mystery: the book ‘Nuestras Tierras’ by José Soler Carnicer (1985) refers to one of his clear conclusions: being earthly»- and the real person responsible for the meal is a man named Vicen Blat Palonés. argues that. Better known as ‘Maceta’, this gastronomic and amateur cook owned a saltfish business in Grao Gandia next to the Plaza de la Estación and began preparing the first fideuà in history around 1910, according to Gurrea. Vicen Soler, the cook on board and later the owner of a restaurant, should go to Calvo, those other than Isabel Martí Bertó ‘la Pastaora’ and beyond swear the dish was Francesc Martí Reig of Casa Paco, who created the last of Civil. War… Here next week I will defend the case of who, in my humble opinion, might be its true author. Or will he be a writer?

#Gastrodates #parents #certainties

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