Spanish folks - your top tips for Paella please

oldunc

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While this thread has established that chorizo is not used in traditional paella (thank you El Marin and others), as an aside – and for the hippies out there and others who tend towards “arroz y otras cosas” – I don’t think it’s been said yet, but there are at least two types of chorizo: Spanish chorizo and Mexican chorizo. They are both good but vastly different.

I see the OP is from London so they probably used Spanish chorizo, but in western and southern US it’s pretty hard to find Spanish chorizo, unless you seek it out.
Hasn't really established that at all, there's plenty of tradition of using chorizo in paella. Mexican chorizo is, in my experience, mostly pretty uniform, but there are varieties (including a green one stuffed with cilantro). Spanish chorizo is much more variable; I've found several quite distinct types locally, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
 

loopfinding

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Hasn't really established that at all, there's plenty of tradition of using chorizo in paella. Mexican chorizo is, in my experience, mostly pretty uniform, but there are varieties (including a green one stuffed with cilantro). Spanish chorizo is much more variable; I've found several quite distinct types locally, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

it's not the same thing. mexican chorizo is an uncooked thing treated with vinegar and chiles. chorizo español is white wine and paprika dry cured thing.

both are good, but they're not even close to being the same thing. completely different.
 

loopfinding

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I always heard the paella at El Siboney was good. But maybe that’s a Cuban take on the dish?

Disclaimer (lol): I’ve only eaten there a handful of times and haven’t ever gotten past the ropa viejo or the Cuban sandwich.

i'm not sure cuban paella is something you wanna go for.

now speaking as half cuban/half gallego, the cuban caldo gallego is just as good, if not better, than the gallegos. cuban empanadas are not as good as argentine, but they absolutely destroy whatever the spanish or the gallegos call an empanada. the first time i ate an empanada in spain i was appalled at how crappy it was by comparison.

but yeah other "spanish" stuff, idk man, if it's from latin america, avoid. stuff in cuban food that is similar to non-latino-but-carribean (like "rice and peas" or oxtail in jamaican cuisine) food is what you wanna go for as far as cuban (or PR, or dominican) dishes. the absorption of west african cuisine into carribean food is where they excel.
 
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oldunc

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it's not the same thing. mexican chorizo is an uncooked thing treated with vinegar and chiles. chorizo español is white wine and paprika dry cured thing.

both are good, but they're not even close to being the same thing. completely different.
Didn't say they were. I said that there are several varieties of Mexican chorizo and even more of Spanish chorizo. Then start throwing in Portuguese and Brazilian varieties of chourico, and exploring former Spanish colonies, the varieties are nearly endless.
 

loopfinding

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Didn't say they were. I said that there are several varieties of Mexican chorizo and even more of Spanish chorizo. Then start throwing in Portuguese and Brazilian varieties of chourico, and exploring former Spanish colonies, the varieties are nearly endless.

yeah just saying i don't think dry cure variety and "to be cooked"/fermented should be mentioned in the same breath. both good, but the name alone is a miscategorization. totally different from each other. chouriço is similar to the spanish style and worth talking about in the same way. mexican type is just something else altogether.
 
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drewg

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Hasn't really established that at all, there's plenty of tradition of using chorizo in paella. Mexican chorizo is, in my experience, mostly pretty uniform, but there are varieties (including a green one stuffed with cilantro). Spanish chorizo is much more variable; I've found several quite distinct types locally, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
I can't really speak to traditional Spanish or Valencian paella– just going off what El Marin and Rick330man say, and they seem pretty in the know about it. But whenever traditional foods of one region spread to others, it's pretty natural that they adapt to local ingredients and customs. California rolls, anyone? I'm pretty fascinated with this topic of the difusion of culinary tranditions. On the the one hand there's always the danger of cultural appropriation, especially when something is commercialized. On the other hand, cultures and traditions in contact with new ones pretty naturally adapt and evolve.

I've lived and traveled in Mexico quite extensively. I think I've heard of chorizo verde, but never seen or tasted it. My wife (mexicana) speaks of longaniza verde, again, which I've never tried. I've traveled some in Spain and the chorizo I've had all seems pretty similar, though defintely of different qualities.

All in all, I see it both ways. I really try to respect traditional recipies when I prepare them and my wife does the same. But sometimes practicality and simply what's available locally calls for adaptation. Creativity is a part of it, but so is respect.
 

drewg

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Uh oh...now you're really opening the flood gates.

Is it Creme Bruleé or Crema Catalana? Are we talking Spanish flan, Cuban flan or Mexican flan?

Guitarists reading this thread are going to put on some serious pounds (kilograms).

You left out Panna Cotta. But Crema Catalana? Cuban flan? You have my attention, sir... 😋
 

Oxidao

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How do you feel about it in tortilla? (contentious question, haha). I like either one. But without onion es una barbaridad.
Jamón serrano is the 'thing' for tortilla, to my taste.

If someone likes something close to a chorizo omelet, they should try 'chistorra' omelet.
Chistorra must be fried to be eaten.
 

Oxidao

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The same way you got Pizzerías with different kinds of Pizzas, or 'Asadores' for meat, 'Marisquería' for shellfish, etc.
there are certain Restaurants all over Spain called 'Arrocerías', mostly in Baleares, Cataluña and Valencia.

Their menu includes many different kind of rice dishes, and one of them is normally 'Paella Valenciana'.

The way all those rices are made is the same (they way 'el Marín' said), and the PAN is the same, called PAELLERA.
I think that is what defines that special way, we españoles make the rice.

Reggarding ingredients and other things like display
I love 'Paella Valenciana', 'Arroz Senyoret', 'Arroz Negro', 'Arroz a banda', etc etc.
Are all of them Paella?, well... idk

I've never tried a paella with chorizo, it won't be bad I am sure, perhaps a bit fatty for my rice tastes.
 

El Marin

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El Carajo translates literally to the crow's nest on an old sailing vessel, but it has come to be the colloquial way in Spanish to tell someone to go to hell. The word play is brilliant.
Also means thw woman sexual part of the body



I make a lot of risotto too and the line blurs
You don't stir paella's rice... that, pan and ingredients are the differences


Hasn't really established that at all, there's plenty of tradition of using chorizo in paella

NO, there is no tradition using chorizo in paella. If it has chorizo, is NOT paella, period

the first time i ate an empanada in spain i was appalled at how crappy it was.
I must agree with you. Only in South of Ourense, around Verín thay make really good one, with bread, not (puff pastry) hojaldre
 

El Marin

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OF COURSE you can add whatever you want. I do it. But call it "Rice with things" not paella.

This is the point. Paella is a traditional dish and must be kept as is.

Rice with things: Chorizo, stones from the river, philips screws, car oil... whatever you want.

Paella: NO chorizo, please
 

AJBaker

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Interesting reading the replies here. I love cooking (and I'm quite good at it, if I do say so myself :), but there are MANY things I know nothing about, like paella.

If there's one thing I know about many cuisines (especially in Europe), is that less is more.
With Italian food, for example, the real stuff isn't full of herbs and garlic and buckets of sauce, but it (usually) simple to bring out the flavour of the ingredients.
Delicious seafood pasta, for example, is just pasta, mussels and olive oil, with some extra flavouring like garlic (but not too much), parsley, chili, and maybe some lemon zest.

I can understand not adding chorizo to the dish. I mean, it's like adding salami to a pasta dish, why would you do that? Enjoy the cold cuts for what they are, and enjoy the fish for what it is.

I must try making real paella one of these days, I've never done it. I'm used to making risotto, and I had no idea about not stirring the rice when making paella.
 

oldunc

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I can't really speak to traditional Spanish or Valencian paella– just going off what El Marin and Rick330man say, and they seem pretty in the know about it. But whenever traditional foods of one region spread to others, it's pretty natural that they adapt to local ingredients and customs. California rolls, anyone? I'm pretty fascinated with this topic of the difusion of culinary tranditions. On the the one hand there's always the danger of cultural appropriation, especially when something is commercialized. On the other hand, cultures and traditions in contact with new ones pretty naturally adapt and evolve.

I've lived and traveled in Mexico quite extensively. I think I've heard of chorizo verde, but never seen or tasted it. My wife (mexicana) speaks of longaniza verde, again, which I've never tried. I've traveled some in Spain and the chorizo I've had all seems pretty similar, though defintely of different qualities.

All in all, I see it both ways. I really try to respect traditional recipies when I prepare them and my wife does the same. But sometimes practicality and simply what's available locally calls for adaptation. Creativity is a part of it, but so is respect.
The fact of the matter is that speaking of "authenticity" in a traditional recipe is pretty futile- cooks around the world have always used what they had. If you speak Of "authentic" paella, well the original consisted of rice, green beans and snails; do you limit the dish to that? Or to somewhat later versions, which are based on ingredients common in Valencia? The water of Valencia is said to be pretty distinctive; is it really paella without that? On the other hand, the name paella refers to the pan it is cooked in, and thus the method of cooking; is that what defines the dish? It spread beyond Valencia long ago, and cooks everywhere used the available ingredients and their own tastes, which in many cases included chorizo. There are any number of published recipes by very authoritative and very Spanish authors that use chorizo, so I see no question of "authenticity". Now pizza made of cauliflower, that may be a bit over the edge. I haven't traveled extensively in Spain, but just shopping at Spanish Table, I've had 5 or 6 quite distinct types of Spanish chorizo- dry ones and not so dry, plainly distinctive spice palettes. Niman's Ranch sells an uncooked Spanish chorizo; I don't know what tradition lies behind that, but presumably they researched the subject some; at any rate, it's quite good.
 

oldunc

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Also means thw woman sexual part of the body




You don't stir paella's rice... that, pan and ingredients are the differences




NO, there is no tradition using chorizo in paella. If it has chorizo, is NOT paella, period


I must agree with you. Only in South of Ourense, around Verín thay make really good one, with bread, not (puff pastry) hojaldre
Is so. Go back far enough, there's no tradition of using meat or seafood or saffron or much of anything that defines the modern dish. You might as well say there's no tradition of using beans in chili- you might not like it, but it's futile to deny its existence.
 
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maxvintage

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Tradition is good; innovation is good too. If I'm ever in spain I'll eat what they serve me and I'm betting I'll love it. I won't ask for it to be something different. Someday: Spain is on the list.

But I live the the massively multicultural US and my neighbors and friends come from really every single part of the globe. Migration historically brings innovation, so it seem to me it's "authentic" to make what I call paella my way, since I'm an Irish American living in the suburbs of DC .

I cook italian a lot, but try to stay in the "spirit" of italian cooking, minimal fresh ingredients and not overdoing it. That's because I lived there for a while. If I go to Spain I'll probably come back and drag my neighbors for putting smoked pork in paella!:)
 

dkmw

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Is so. Go back far enough, there's no tradition of using meat or seafood or saffron or much of anything that defines the modern dish. You might as well say there's no tradition of using beans in chili- you might not like it, but it's futile to deny its existence.

Now you’ve done it. Beans in chili?
 

oldunc

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Now you’ve done it. Beans in chili?
Exactly. I wish the word had stuck to some sort of meaning consistent with its origin, but I have no control over how others use the language- no one does- and the fact is that people have used the word for a long time for all sorts of variants, to the point that it's near meaningless; recipes appear with beans, with curry powder (another one that's been rendered so vague as to be meaningless), based on tomatoes with a couple of teaspoons of (arggh) chili powder, with no chilis at all- pretty much anything reddish that can be served in a bowl; that's how people use and understand the word, so that's what it means. For me, the word "pizza" means a yeast raised wheat flour dough which is cooked along with its toppings, and I'm disinclined to use it for anything without cheese, or with plainly non Italian toppings such as Poblano peppers, but that's my problem; people can and do use the word for flatbread creations, parbaked crust versions, cauliflower crusts with salads piled on them, and I have no authority to stop them. Even recipes with known origins and well established traditions for the original method of making them, such as Key Lime Pie, have been varied to the point that pretty much any lime pie with any sort of limes, and many non pie desserts, use the name. It's all part of a larger semantic entropy- there are no authorities on how language can be used oother than its body of users, so meanings tend to become vaguer and vaguer as people "expand the meaning" of words.
 

Dik Ellis

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I'm making Paella tonight. First time for me. I have a few recipes I'm looking at but thought I'd ask for any experienced Spanish culture people what your top tips are. I've got a new Paella pan. this is for 4 big people.

I am using shrimp, chicken and chorizo. I have a well stocked larder for herbs spices and fresh stuff.
Be sure to use Arborial rice. Make sure your pan will fit in the oven...mine didn't.
 




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