Paella Day

January 25, 2007 at 7:46 pm 3 comments

Thursday is Paella Day here in Barcelona (maybe in all of Catalunya?). Every bar and restaurant that serves a menu del dia (those lovely three-course meals with drink and bread that one can get for as little as 7 euros) has paella on the menu on thursdays. Nobody really knows when/how the tradition started but it’s been around for as long as people can remember.

Paella is one of those emblematic foods that became the gastronomic symbol for a particular country, much like feijoada in Brazil and curry in India. Like the curry it’s a pretty general dish rather than a particular recipe (it basically mean rice cooked in a paella – a wide, flat dish) and like the feijoada, despite being known internationally as the country’s national dish, it hails from a specific region and it is better known (or better period) in some regions than in others. I don’t think I would go for a paella in Madrid (as I wouldn’t go for a feijoada in Manaus), but I wouldn’t miss one in any Catalan or Valencian seaside town.

In Barcelona, there’s paella for all tastes. There are expensive ones at the seafood restaurants around Barceloneta, there are crappy, horrible ones at touristy restaurants across the city (stay as far away from restaurants with a placard in front with several pictures of paellas saying “El Paellador” or some such name), and homey, honest ones at bars & restaurants for lunch. I tend to favour the latter. So on thursdays Alan comes to meet me at the archives, we go over to one of the many bars & restaurants nearby and have lunch together. Today’s paella had seafood (shrimp, bits of calamari, mussels, clams…) and meat. I had a salad to start – they call is a ensalada verde but it resembles very little the green salads we eat in canada; the lettuce (that’s the green part) comes covered in tuna, cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, olives, onions, corn nibblets, bits of pickles, chicory, endives, etc… – followed by the very juicy and fresh paella, acompanied by peach juice and finished with yogurt. All for the modicum price of 7.50 euros. Hmmm, as Borat would say – I LIKE, very MUCH. Long live Paella Day!!

Here’s a picture of Sebastian and Patxi making paella & black rice when we first met:

Chefs at work

I have to get him to teach me how to make it….

Entry filed under: Barcelona, Food, Life in Spain, Recipes, Traditions.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Bruna  |  January 25, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Menina! Esqueci de te mandar uma resposta hoje, e nao queria ligar tarde. Nos podemos vir almoçar a hora que voce quiser, é voce quem esta trabalhando. é so dizer onde podemos te encontrar. Amanha te mando um msg.
    Boa noite!

    Reply
  • 2. acomentarista  |  January 26, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Sabe que eu nunca tinha percebido que quinta é o dia da paella? rssss

    bjs

    Reply
  • 3. guerson  |  January 26, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    pois na próxima quinta dá uma reparada nos menus dos bares por onde vc passar… Por enquanto não encontrei nenhum bar local que não tenha uma paella na quinta-feira. Uns servem como primeiro e outros como segundo…

    bjs

    Reply

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