Monday, March 13, 2006

paella valenciana

An authentic paella valenciana, not only homemade but over a bonfire. This is a yearly event near the Valencia harbor. It was not only a wonderful spring day, the festive atmosphere was incredible, these are the times when I wish I was more vivid with words to describe the event. Fire for the paellas were started on sand to avoid leaving ugly marks on the pavement. The paellas were set in rows, with tables at each side were people were not starving : there was plenty of Spanish specialties including ham, cold cuts and goat cheese from La Mancha , like the pictured platter. And also a wide variety of drinks! Predominantly beer and red wine.




It took over one hour for each paella to be ready to eat. Each group made its own, better said: they assigned a couple of them to organize the cooking (notice the cooks are all men!) and everybody had a great time chatting , drinking and eating. A wonderful paella celebration! For the ones wondering about the ingredients: ours had green beans, chicken and rabbit. No snails. But the one we had a day later at a restaurant was supposed to be the very traditional one and it had snails. I left them where they were!



There was live music at the beginning too. Afterwards everybody was too busy to listen to the band. And note that small pot over the fire: it was a rhum punch placed over the fire after the paella was cooked. I didn't try it as there was more partying planned for the evening! Valencia is beginning its annual big celebration: the Fallas. Find some information here and here, ..."Las Fallas de Valencia is ... a loud, smoky, rowdy fiesta where the whole town is literally set ablaze!Las Fallas is undoubtedly one of the most unique and crazy festivals in Spain (a country known for unique and crazy festivals). What started as a feast day for St. Joseph (March 19), the patron saint of carpenters, has evolved into a 5-day, multifaceted celebration of fire. Valencia is usually a quiet city with a population of a half-million, but the town swells to an estimated three million flame-loving revelers during Las Fallas." Some more to come. Same place, same blog ;)

16 comments:

  1. I don't like snails either lol.

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  2. Wow, what a great place. Loved your pictures too. Sounds like it was wonderful.

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  3. Looks yummy! What a great place!:)

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  4. I read your comment on Jo's blog and had to come over and read all about it. What a wonderful event. What wonderful food. Spain is a wonderful country I have visited twice and want to return.

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  5. Oooh! Looks nice ~ I love Spanish food ... we spent last Christmas (2004) in Tossa de Mar and last summer in the Basque country ... San Sebastian, St Jean de Luz ~ wonderful! Seafood, piperade, fab wine ~ *sighs dreamily* lead me to it!

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  6. Is it like an American chili cook-off sort of? Cooking outside? Are there prizes for the best food?

    It was nice to see your face...very warm...even though slightly disguised under your hat.

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  7. Hmm - looks like a lot of fun actually. At least there was a lot of good food and some great socializing.

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  8. That looks like a fantastic day. Love the pictures too, thanks for sharing them with us and letting us take part in paella day :)

    ( BTW my sex episode post is up ROTFL )

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  9. Festivals are a wonderful community event, especially the ones that happen every year so that they become a tradition. Glad the men were cooking, gives the women a break.

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  10. drooling, Mar!
    If we were to bring the kids over next year, could we come visit you at your festival?

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  11. Bec - this wasn't mine :) I myself was invited. But there are so many festivals around and all year round, I am sure you could all experience at least one of these!

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  12. I wouldn't eat snails.. can handle rabbit, LOL! Looks like lots of fun!!!!

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  13. Wow, what fun! Looks absolutely delicious.

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  14. Fiesta time with an emphasis on fire. It reminds me of St.Paul, Minnesota and the winter carnival where Vulcan and his men reign supreme. I am sure the weather in Spain was much better though. It can really get terribly cold around the ice palace back home.

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  15. That looks sooooo good!!!!

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