Celebrated on March 27th
The Spanish rice dish 'Paella' takes its name from the pan it is cooked in, which in turn comes from the Latin word for 'pan' or 'dish.' The 3 basic ingredients are rice, saffron and olive oil, with seafood, chicken, vegetables and a wide variety of other ingredients that may also be included (pork, rabbit, duck, etc.). Paella originated in the Valencia region, traditionally cooked outdoors and eaten right from the pan.
In Spain paella is still unique. Not only do families congregate on mass to eat paella in restaurants, but it is often cooked at weekends at holiday homes in ‘bodegas’ or ‘txokos’ (large dining areas where families gather) or at beach or mountain picnic sites. There are many paella competitions all over Spain and very often a giant paella is the centrepiece for many fiestas. It’s easy to see why - paella can create a party, a ceremony and a debate (often over the making of the paella itself!!) - making it one of the most sociable and enjoyable of all culinary occasions. And finally, if you don’t already know – and you want to impress your friends, "paella" is pronounced "pa-e-ya" with the "e" as in "bet"