Paella, paella for days! Little known fact, authentic Valencian paella – a popular rice dish – isn’t traditionally made with seafood *mind-blown*. Though, you can find seafood paella and more throughout the streets in Valencia!
Here’s a great foodie blog post from Hunger Munger we found on what traditional Paella is, and how to spot GOOD paella. Why cheat yourself from the real deal when living abroad in the founding home of Paella?
Here’s the gist for seeking out authentic paella.
- NO seafood, real paella is usually made with chicken and rabbit
- The restaurant will have pre-order available (usually a day in advance because of the long cook time)
- Look for menus that state the 2 persons minimum per paella rule
- Should have a bottom layer of crispy rice aka socarrat
- It’s only ordered at lunchtime which begins at ~2 P.M.
- If you can find them street vendors, like the one in the image above, are hidden foodie gems
Totes worth the visit for all you foodies out there!
Other noteworthy tips:
Pass the salt! – oh wait, never mind! Valencian cuisine is known for their salt affinity, so be sure to give it taste before adding anymore NaCl.
When in doubt, ask a local. Most of the time when you’re living and learning abroad, the locals will meet you halfway if you’re attempting to speak their language and show a genuine interest in their culture – especially when it comes to showcasing their local food!
Be sure to give other Spanish delicacies a try, such as, pork and cured meats, lamb, wine and cheese, and fish!
Prepare to change your daily routine. Late lunch/siesta and dinner times are very different from American culture! Yes, napping after your mid-day snack is a real thing throughout Spain. And it’s taken seriously, as in, shops and establishments will literally be closed during the lunch/siesta time. (Probably because no one wants to be interrupted during naptime, right?)
- Lunch and siesta time is 2 P.M. until ~4 P.M.
- Siestas are taken after lunch
- Dinner time is ~9 P.M. and later.
Now that you’re wiser and likely hungrier, sign up today and explore Valencia, Spain for yourself!
Application deadline is June 15 for Fall 2016 & Yearlong ’16-’17
Have other tips to add? Let us know in the comments below!
Happy paella hunting!