Paella or Arroz
Is it Valencian paella or Alicante Arroz? Either way, both are rice dishes prepared in a large pan. And both taste fantastic. Eating and drinking in Spain is good fun. In this photo gallery you can see inspiring photos of all sorts of famous Spanish national dishes.
Rice in Valencian or Alicante. This is not really transparent for foreigners. At least at first sight. Because the big pans look the same. And the rice dishes are at least very similar. But the Alicantines and Valencians clearly distinguish the Paella Valenciana and the Arroz Alicantino.
The paella is the more famous dish among tourists. Paella is eaten at least once on holiday. But there are many differences. During the preparation, the rice and the ingredients. For visitors it is mostly indifferent. Because, as different as the Spaniards perceive the dishes, I find them similar. Above all, they are similarly good. Because a well prepared Arroz and a fine Paella are a culinary pleasure.
The Castilian name paella originally only referred to the large pan. Meanwhile also the rice dish itself. Paella used to be a rather regional dish in the province of Valencia in the centre of today's Valencian Community. In the meantime it has become a national dish together with the tortilla.
The Alicantines attach great importance to the fact that their pan-fried rice dish is the actual original. And better of course. Their slogan “The Valencians should draw the rice and leave the rice preparation to us Alicantines” says everything about this local rice dispute. But since the term paella is more widely known among tourists, paella is also offered in the Province of Alicante – on the Costa Blanca and inland. Although the Alicantine Arroz is actually at home here, the Alicantines seem to resign themselves to it. Arroz looks like paella to tourists. But never tell an Alicante.
There are already differences when it comes to cooking. At the Paella Valenciana the rice is added to the boiling broth. The rice is cooked in it and the broth is reduced. In the Alicante Arroz a banda, the rice is fried first and then the broth is added. What both have in common is that the domestic recipe does not contain fish but meat, especially chicken and rabbit plus beans.
The paella mixta with meat and fish often offered on the Costa Blanca is what the Spaniards call a slightly mocking paella de turista. Although they do not consider it authentic, they like to eat paella mixta themselves.
The difference explained
The finer difference between Valencian paella and Alicante Arroz is explained in this blog article. The text on the website is a translation from English – automatically translated into German. Therefore it has a few minor flaws in German. But it is easy to read and understand. This makes the differences a little clearer. Maybe you should eat something before looking at the pictures. Otherwise you might get hungry. ;).
Photo galery – Photos Paella & Arroz – Impressions
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