Taste real Valencian paella
Every visitor to Spain arrives hungry for paella, and Valencia is the best place to try it. This region proudly declares itself the original home of paella. The Valencian recipe calls for rabbit, chicken, vegetables and – sometimes – snails. The final result is more golden brown than bright yellow, and it isn’t normally served with lemon, peas, chorizo or anything else we might have seen elsewhere. In fact, dishes deviating from the original recipe and cooking methods, yet daring to call themselves paella, are often dismissed as arroz con cosas, or “rice with things”. The traditional dish, eaten by Valencian families every Sunday, is said to have been invented in La Albufera, a national park just ten kilometres from the city. A day trip here is the perfect chance to try paella at one of many specialist restaurants like Restaurant Mateu. Or head to the seafront and visit the Casa Carmela restaurant, where you can see the spectacular sight of the chefs in action, cooking up to eight huge paellas simultaneously over firewood. Reservations are essential!