Paella Miami: An Authentic Spanish Dish

Foods & DrinksCooking Tips & Recipes

  • Author Giovanni Fernandez
  • Published June 17, 2010
  • Word count 498

Miami, Florida is ranked the seventh largest city in the United States with a population of over 5,400,000 people. Located on the Atlantic coast, Miami is an extremely popular city to visit and to live in and it has been dubbed The Gateway to the Americas because of the variety of cultures to which Miami is home. Food is one of the many areas in which this meshing of cultures is apparent. It is possible to find all varieties of food in Miami from fine French cuisine to authentic Italian dishes and more. Rising in popularity in Miami is the category of Spanish foods including paella. Paella Miami can be found in many restaurants all over the city and tourists to the area should not leave without giving it a try.

The name “paella” is derived from the Old French word “paella” which means pan. Valencians refer to all types of pans as paella, including the special, shallow type used for cooking paellas. A paella pan is typically shallow and round, made of polished steel and featuring two handles. The national dish of Spain, paella is a rice dish that comes in three varieties. Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, snails, beans, seasoning, and meat such as rabbit, chicken, or duck. This type of paella was frequently cooked for special occasions in the 18th century, utilizing the open air of the Valencian orchards. Early paella used marsh rat as a main ingredient, but as living standards rose in the 19th century, paella ingredients began to change in order to include rabbit, chicken, and duck in place of marsh rat and eel. The second type of paella, seafood paella, was developed along the Mediterranean coast. Seafood paella is much the same as Valencian paella but it replaces the snails and meat with seafood.

Throughout the 20th century, the popularity of this dish spread past the borders of Spain and many other cultures began to create paella-like dishes. As a result, paella recipes went from being rather simple to being more complex, including a variety of seafood, sausage, and other meats. The third type of paella is referred to as mixed paella and it consists of a combination of meat, seafood, vegetables, and occasionally beans. Some Spanish restaurants and some in other countries like the United States serve this type of paella under the name Valencian paella, but Valencians claim that only the original Valencian recipe can boast this name.

Paella Miami can be found in any of these three varieties and there are many restaurants which have perfected their recipes to the degree that their paella delivers a near-perfect reflection of the paella you would taste in Spain. For those who enjoy new dining experiences, paella Miami is a great way to experience the cuisine of a different culture. Because it is such a popular dish, many Miami restaurants serve paella so it is even possible to sample a variety of recipes to get an even fuller experience.

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