Campaign to create a D.O. for Paella Valencia


 
 
A group of top  restaurants and their chefs have initiated a campaign to defend the authenticity of Valencian Paella and have asked the Valencian Government to decree a new D.O. ( Original denomination ) Paella Valenciana. Whilst paella is the best known of Spanish dishes it has been horribly abused say the campaign group.
 
Historically the Valencians believe that Paella was first known in Valencia and certainly  the traditional paella much loved by noisy families on a Sunday has been known as Queen of the Paellas for many years. Every Valencian village or town district has its paella competition during its annual fiesta. It is believed that paellas started as a working mans meal in the Albufera area of Valencia where the rice growers and fishermen could carry their ingredients for a mid-day meal easily with them.
 
Over time both the ingredients developed and the recipes became a bit more varied depending on where in the Valencian community you were. Initially using duck which was freely available  as time passed and the workers became more affluent more of what was grown and raised in the small gardens of their houses (or Barracas) was incorporated. This became chicken and rabbit, tomato, rice, saffron, water and salt.
 
Accepted local and seasonal variations include snails, the wild (never cultivated ) rosemary they feed on, paprika, green and white beans and garlic. The green beans not being available all year round artichoke is an acceptable seasonal substitute.
 
Authentic paella is made from only quality ingredients, wherever possible using those with their own D.O. such as Valencian rice. It is cooked in a shallow wide pan
also known as a paella over a wood fire. Traditionaly it is eaten in a communal manner, each diner using their own spoon and eating from the paella.
 
Certainly the initiatave deserves support. Who has not eaten a commercially made paella with a thin layer of burn´t rice and overdone ingredients? Whilst a proper paella should have a crispy base which is highly prized locally it should be neither sloppy or overdry.
 
Those wishing to support the campaign which is very much in line with other iniatives to preserve and promote local culture and gastronomy should email restaurantelevante@restaurantelevante.com or lapitanza@hotmail.com and leave a message of support for the platform.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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