Some 5,000kg of rice, 6,250kg of chicken, 2,600kg of rabbit and no less than 1,000 litres of Olive Oil. No, this isn’t the shopping list of a family that eats very well. These are the ingredients used on 8 March 1992 to cook the world’s largest paella, which 100,000 people were able to enjoy.
But beyond anecdotes from the Guinness Book of World Records, paella, the origins of which can be traced back to the 18th century, is one of the most recognised examples of Spanish cuisine around the world. The typical paella is made with short-grain bomba rice, rabbit and chicken, but there are other varieties such as seafood,mixed, vegetarian and black (due to the addition of squid ink).
If you want to make this delicious dish, you should keep a few key things in mind. First, make sure that you choose the correct pan for paella, which, in this case, should be wide (the most common are between 30 and 60 centimetres in diameter) and low, with a curved bottom and two handles. If you can’t find a pan specifically made for paella, you can use one that has similar characteristics.
When it comes to heat, it’s best to avoid ceramic hobs because the heat needs to be distributed uniformly throughout the pan. Gas hobs are most commonly used, but it is also possible to make paella over a wood-burning stove.
Something else to keep in mind is the amount of water you use, since you’ll need to add slightly more than two parts water to one part rice because it will evaporate as it cooks. As for knowing when the paella is ready, there's no better way than to taste it every now and then.
Even though this dish is typical of Valencia in the east of Spain, it has spread throughout Spain and around the world. It’s no wonder, given that it is perfect for sharing with friends and family. Want to share this paella made with Olive Oils from Spain with your loved ones?