Celebrate World Paella Day on 20 Sept 2019!

Megan Yap
Megan Yap
September 19, 2019

What truly makes up a Paella? No one, except the Valencians, can be a hundred percent certain. Paella, a famous Spanish rice dish, originated in Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain, after Madrid and Barcelona. It has a population of around 1.7 million to 2.5 million. Paella comes from the Latin word “Patella” which means pan – a cooking pan or a saucepan. The dish is so well-loved by the natives that they set aside a day for it. They call it World Paella Day.

World Paella Day - Paella Pan

On 20 September 2019, Valencia will reveal the recipe for the ORIGINAL Paella. However, Valencia is also inviting the rest of the world to make their own versions of Paella with any ingredients of their choice. As the creators of Paella, it is time for them to loosen their reigns on the dish and, in the spirit of fun and friendship, resolve the eternal dispute surrounding what makes up an authentic Paella. The dish has become so popular globally, that you can enjoy it in almost every country. World Paella Day has been added to the international calendar to honour the well-loved dish.

Paella is an important key point in the Spanish gastronomy. For Valencia it is also a symbol of culture and is also a key highlight in another local festival called the Falles, which takes place usually in March.

Where better to try Paella and learn more about this dish than at its origin, Valencia? Visit the Central Market, the largest fresh produce market in Europe, and adore this beautiful stained-glass building while you pick your ingredients. You can go on a tour of the Albufera lagoon and natural park to see the paddy fields where rice, especially the bomba variety which is most suited for Paella, is grown. If you want to try cooking a pan of Paella yourself, you can join a half-day masterclass at the school of Rice Dishes and Paellas. You can enjoy this while discovering the city’s beautiful contrast of history, tradition and modern architectures present.

World Paella Day - Pouring Stock

You’ll learn that the original Paella did not contain ingredients such as chorizo or seafood.  These popular ingredients are modern additions started by other countries. So what was in the original Paella? Ingredients that farmers in rice fields could easily obtain such as chicken, rabbit, and even snails. It is a dish that is eaten strictly during lunchtime. Only tourists or non-natives eat it for dinner.

If you’re not heading to Spain anytime soon, or if you’re worried about not being able to make it for World Paella Day in Spain, you can pop by El Tardeo and FOC Pim Pam, right here in Singapore, for an authentic plate of Paella on World Paella Day!

FOC Pim Pam

World Paella Day - FOC Pim Pam
FOC Pim PPam Dining Area

On 20 Sept 2019, Chef Javi of FOC Pim Pam will be cooking a gigantic pan of Valencian Paella in the early evening, and the Valencian Paella, which is not usually on the menu, will be served as a special dish all night long. From 8pm onwards, there will also be Spanish Live Music to add to the ambience of the Spanish celebrations!

presenting paella

We spent an afternoon with Chef Javi to learn how to cook his signature paella using traditional ingredients. He cooks it with chicken, saffron and local beans. It is left to simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is plumply al dente. It is not as creamy as risotto and each grain remain intact. As it cooks, it develops a deep golden crust on the bottom. That is the best part.

I have never tried such good homemade- like paellas, I believe this is as good as the ones they have in Spain. Chef Javi is incredible as well. We can’t wait to see what he will be serving on 20 September!

plate of paella


El Tardeo, an urban Tapas bar situated on Craig Road which prides itself on its vibrant atmosphere, will be dishing out Special Paella Plates at just $5++!

World Paella Day - Huge Pan of Paella
World Paella Day - Queue at El Tardeo
seafood paella

Note that these promotions will run on 20th September 2019 only.

Valencia invites the rest of the world to make their own versions of Paella on World Paella Day 2019! Make it the centrepiece of your gathering, just like how it is done in Valencia, and in FOC PIM PAM and El Tardeo. Be sure to take pictures of your very own Paella and post them on social media with the hashtag #WorldPaellaDay to join many others all over the world in celebrating this special day!

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This post was brought to you by Spain Tourism Board

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