This dish is simply a taste of Spain. You’ve got to know where to eat it though, cause there are lots of fake and horrible ones around. Many bars heat up frozen ready-made yellow rice, (yeah I call it that cause it’s an insult to call it Paella!) The safest and best place in Barcelona is at the fresh fish restaurants in Vila Olímpico, they take their time preparing it (like it should be!) and it’s so worth the wait.
You can normally choose between the most typical Paella de marisco – seafood-Paella, or Paella mixto, which also has meat (chicken and rabbit). Then you have the vegetable-one, Paella de verduras and the classic here in Catalunya (the county) is the Arroz negro = black rice, delicious! The main ingredient in black rice is sepia, cuttlefish, and the colour of the rice comes from the ink from the cuttlefish. There is even a variety that is made with a thin short kind of spaghetti, instead of rice, the Fideuá.
Top it up with a delicious chilled white wine and you simply can’t ask for more!These are the most typical ones though. I saw a menu in Málaga, at the Restaurant El Patio , they had an immense variety of Paellas, I guess only imagination puts a stop to what you can make a Paella about.
So if you are in Spain and you want to have a proper Paella, a good way of knowing if it’s the real kind is to ask how much time it will take to make it, or how much time until you’ll be served. A proper paella takes about one hour to make, so keep that in mind!