The Perfect Paella
Cigar Aficionado|September / October 2017
The Perfect Paella

The Perfect Paella

Gregory Mottola

There isn’t an exact consensus as to what makes for a truly authentic dish of paella, but there is certainly no shortage of strong opinions. Ask a Spaniard from Valencia—the purported birthplace of paella—and you might get a completely different answer than someone from Catalonia. Trace the history and you’ll find that this Spanish medley with crunchy rice has included everything from eels and snails to rabbits and rodents (specifically, water vole meat).

Now that the dish has gone global, it’s not at all unusual to find spicy chorizo sausage in the mix, something that rigid hardliners find exceedingly irritating. And while some things are open to interpretation, the basic tenets of paella are not.

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September / October 2017