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  • Guy Swinnerton

Where does Paella come from and how does it taste so good?

Paella is a traditional rice dish that contains different combinations of Meat, Seafood and Vegetables usually seasoned with Saffron and other spices depending on the recipe and the area of Spain of which it is made. It is one of the most popular and famous of global dishes.


Valencia in Eastern Spain is the undisputed home of Paella. It is one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean and has been one of the most important rice producing areas in Europe.


Paella has humble beginnings at it's roots, originally farm labourer's food, it was cooked over a fire for a lunch time meal. It was made with rice, and whatever was at hand around the countryside; tomato, onion, snails and rabbit with a few peas or beans to add texture. On special occasions they would add chicken or duck as a celebration meal.


Typically, different regions came up with different Paella recipes and ingredients. Coastal towns would have an abundance of Seafood so you would often find Fish, Shrimp, Prawns, Mussels, Crab and even Lobster in their Paella. Seafood Paella rice can also be made black with Squid's Ink. Country towns would usually have Snails and Rabbit as the main Paella proteins.


Wow.. how far we have come!


These days you can still find Paella in the Spanish countryside, but you will also find it in upper class Spanish restaurants all over the world.

Typically the 'modern day' Paella will contain various Seafood, Chorizo and often Chicken. Chorizo, a cured Spanish-style sausage was an ingredient added much later to Paella and many traditional Spanish people would say it doesn't belong!

At HOLA Catering our most popular Paella choice is Mixed Meat; Chicken, King Prawns and Chorizo - it's a crowd favourite!


One thing that remained consistent throughout history and even today is the delicious mix of spices in a Paella. Typically Saffron, Garlic and Paprika.

My personal favourite (and my secret Paella recipe) is made using Garlic, Smoked Paprika, Tumeric, Cumin and the best quality Saffron available.


Book us today for your next party, wedding, event or function and try it for yourself!


- Guy

Head Chef & Founder

HOLA Catering






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