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Paella is the best dish in the world

Today we celebrate World Paella Day and we can't think of a better time to say loud and clear that there is no more succulent, Mediterranean and hedonistic dish in the world, there isn't!

Paella is the best dish in the world © Jesús Terrés

The Valencian paella, dish of humble origin whose germ must be traced in the cradle of rice: La Albufera.

Is it an ancestral dish? Not at all, born throughout the eighteenth century but it is the nineteenth century - and because of the Universal Exhibitions of London, Paris or Antwerp - when the paella or "Rice to the Valencian" acquires an unusual popularity.

Paella is the bowl and is the plate, bottom and shape (Ying and Yang!) But also a certain way of understanding gastronomy and, of course, life.

Because part of the charm of the paella, beyond the portentous taste of terroir and the aroma (wood, please) is “The ritual” festive, hedonistic and pantagruleic in which derives almost any meeting around iron and rice. Eating a paella is a party; and here we have come to play.

That is really what we should export, not a recipe or the sum of a handful of ingredients: A way of looking and being in the world. Ours.

What is death? This answered Manuel Vicent, illustrious cancer fighter of the Valencian landscape: “I believe that death will never be able to take sea urchins again accompanied by a dry wine, under the sleeping smoke of the calm of January, on the shores of the Mediterranean, and never try other simple delicacies , natural and terrestrial that have fed me ”. Precisely That's what the paella ritual is about: you have to live.

From this need to tell a speech that goes beyond a plate, the World Paella Day (September twenty, harvest time).

“A recognition of most universal dish of Spanish cuisine. A day in which the Valencians share our great dish with the rest of the world to celebrate, beyond recipes and ingredients, the iinternationality of the paella. A meal of humble Valencian origin that has crossed all borders. With eight million annual searches on the internet, which make it the fourth most important dish on the planet. ”

Paella: a way of understanding gastronomy and life © Miguel Cinteros

Whose idea is it after #WorldPaellaDay? Well Sandra Gómez and the Department of Tourism from the Valencia City Council, which contacts the organizations that traditionally work in the Paella universe (Wikipaella, Swedish International Competition, the DO Rice of Valencia and the FEHV) to create something different, a celebration (this time yes) with an open and inclusive character.

“If we really want it to be international we must understand that we cannot impose the orthodox recipe on everyone, but rather we must send a message in which we give the paella to the world, we share it with all fans of this dish, "who speaks is Guillermo Navarro, president of Wikipaella.

"To use the infinite versions of paella to take advantage of them and remember that its origin is in a sunny city on the shores of the Mediterranean, ”he concludes.

Infinite versions of the paella, but the same affection: celebration. The same is true of one of the great supporters of the dish in the world, our Quique Dacosta.

“Paella is a feeling, it is part of our culture and the most important dish of Spanish cuisine internationally speaking, "he says.

"It represents the culture and history of a people, and talk about how their people have lived depending on where. Every week when I sit in a meeting with national or international people, when I ask for paella to eat, they always get a smile, "continues Dacosta.

The plan? Conquer the planet. Not surprisingly, the next step of the Extremaduran chef is to export the dish to the world, “The first believer in which paella is the most exportable product is me. Committed and convinced with the cause I will open in London a restaurant where the backbone will be the rice dishes made in paella ”.

Another faithful believer of this wood-burning religion is Ricard Camarena. That of Barx (in the region of La Safor) is clear: “It is that for the Valencians it is a religion, and for any chef one of the most extremely difficult dishes to cook ”.

But ... is that so much? “Of course, I cook everything. Making a mediocre paella is not difficult; making it good is difficult; Making it spectacular is very difficult. We want the rice to the point, loose, that is not hard but not past, that is tasty, that has oil wrapping it a little, that is socarrat but not burned ... And we are talking about only one ingredient! "

Today is a holiday. The light (this very white light) on the sand in those canvases of Sorolla, the must that flows from the grape at the end of the harvest, a slice of fresh watermelon, the last rays of sun from these roasted sunsets, a love that is born, continue to militate in beauty, A paella facing the sea.

Eating a paella is a party; and here we have come to play © D.O. Valencia

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