Friday, October 30, 2009


Shit, I don’t know. Maybe that’s why the Spanish call paellas just “rice” sometimes cos it is so impossible to define what it is. One thing Paella does not mean though is “for her” (para ella). Anyone that tells you it does should be mistrusted. Paella refers to the pan it is cooked in, and the variations are INFINITE, no two cooks ever doing it the same way.

They say the first paellas were of snails and rabbit and cooked on olive tree cuttings. I have yet to do this but one day I will and it will make me happy. It will be a good day.

Paellas are supreme if done right. Unfortunately it is difficult to find good ones. I went to a food show here in Ibiza when I first arrived and thought “aha, now I can ask a chef if they use saffron in paellas here” Until that point I had been unable to detect either saffron or quality in any of the ones I had tried. You know what the fucker replied? He said “No. People don’t like saffron.” What a bastard. No, people have now gotten used to food colouring and artifical flavourings thanks to you, you fat lazy bastard. Jesus.

Not all paellas take saffron by any means but none should have this enhancer so many use. It is sort of like the stuff in the sachets in those really high quality chinese noodle packets. Like all good flavour enhancers you actually think it tastes good. It is only after you realise that everything you eat tastes the same that their novelty wears off. The lowest common demoninator shouldn’t ever really be embraced in a kitchen and particularly when in it involves ones national dish.

Anyway, all that is rather by the by. For lunch today I made a discovery. Nothing major but sure was a nice change for using up leftover stew. I had made a jolly nice chicken, chorizo and roast pepper stew a couple of days before. Everyone had eaten their fill a few times and it was now time to use up the last of it. I put it into a paella pan with some extra water and a couple of handfuls of la bomba rice (about 3 times the liquid to rice volume). I cooked it fast until the liquid evaporated and man oh man, did I have me a nice lunch. 12 minutes start to finish + 4 for resting. The socarrat was amazing. Socarrat? Socarrat? What the hell is socarrat? Well, socarrat is the defining factor of a perfect paella. Of which more another time.