Paella, at a first glance can be an overwhelming dish to dig in. There’s just too much ingredients in the list of a Paella recipe. From the lobster to the meaty chorizo, it is a no brainer how jam packed flavours incite our taste buds. Moreover, the brightly coloured red rice is in charge of making stomach full and beyond satisfied. The mixture of rice and other ingredients such as meat into a single dish makes the Spanish food more prone to different versions and changes. This makes the dish more fun. Chefs can play with a plate of Paella as long as they have rice and other ingredients they have in the fridge. The limitation is not bound to a fixed and restricted flavours and constituents. Thus, they can explore on using different meat, sausages, seasoning and everything in between as long as they don’t ruin the blends of flavours and the famous coloured rice.
Paella’s ingredients versatility even reaches the deep blue oceans as squid, clams, fish, lobster, and other sea creatures can be part of the grand paella recipe. It will always depend on the version and the goal of the chef or paella lovers. Paella was now also popularly known as Valenciana. This is said to be a better version that originated back from the eastern coast of the city of Spain. Once tasted, the richer and smokier flavour is evident.
The traditional Paella Valenciana usually has chicken, rabbit, beans, and artichokes. But some people would enjoy even adding more seafood and meat for richer and distinct tang and still call it their version of Paella Valenciana. Well, they can call it what they want but later on these versions have a distinct style and label based on the ingredients used.
As the Spanish food reaches other parts of the world, it develops different other names. One of which is the Paella de Marisco. This is more known to have seafood than the Valenciana version which makes it an all-time favourite of tourists and foreign visitors. Chunks of chicken meat are sometimes added in this version.
With all the meat mentioned, it may seem to be impossible for vegetarians to get a taste of what Paella is like. Fortunately, the rules in making Paella can be bended in anyway a chef wants it to be. The birth of Paella Vegetariana have long been narrated in the history of the evolution of Paella. This version only contains eggplant, white beans, artichokes, and a dash of peppers. Hence, Vegetarians can still talk about how this Spanish food can be included in their list of food favourites.
Paella has truly invaded not only in the list of famous Spanish dishes but also in the world of different chefs across the globe, authentic Paella can also be found in Singapore! Up until today, the dish continues to evolve as new ingredients are being innovated together with the help of the highly advance cooking tools and techniques used by professional chefs or even those who’d just love to stay and play in the kitchens of their respective homes.