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Perfect Paella, The Top 4 Mistakes To Avoid


It’s easy to make a good paella, but making an excellent paella takes a little more skill, experience and knowledge.

It’s the knowledge part we will be looking at today, sharing our top 5 top tips for wrong turns to avoid on the road to paella perfection. Strap in and read on, friends, because things are about to get tasty! 

Don't neglect the saffron!

Any foodie who knows their way around Spanish cuisine will tell you that, traditionally, paella is meant to be an earthy yellow-brown and not the vibrant food colouring-fuelled orange colour that you sometimes see in microwave meal packets. And because of the vibrancy, it’s easy to assume that it’s the pimenton that gives paella its signature colouring. But there’s another ingredient that does a lot of the work too, and that’s ‘the red gold’ saffron.

Saffron is the delicate stigma of the crokus flower, native to the Mediterranean Basin and Arabian Peninsula, which wilts on the same day that it blooms. As you probably know, the price is set accordingly, making saffron one of the most expensive spices on supermarket shelves. If you’re looking for the real deal, dodge the Tartrazine (E102) and splash out on the real deal. After all, it takes quality ingredients to produce the quality dishes! 

Don't mix it too much!

One of the best pieces of advice that expert foodies share is to know when to step back and do nothing. We get it, the temptation to be hands-on and control the process, because when you’re in control nothing can go wrong, right? Not quite. 

Just like our garlic mushrooms with truffle oil recipe, the key to a show-stopping paella is to leave it alone. Your veg thrown in the pan? Leave them alone and let them sizzle. You just added your rice? Leave it alone and let it settle. Ready to mix in the water? Give it one big stir….then sit yourself down and let the ingredients, pan and heat work their magic. 

This is especially true if you want to achieve that super tasty socarrat (the crusty crispy base that becomes caramelised and toasted on the bottom of the pan). Trust us on this one, patience is the best ingredient in masterful meals. 

Don't add chorizo!

That’s right, we’re not budging on this one…chorizo does not belong in traditional paella! 

Don’t get us wrong, we love chorizo and use it in many other delicious Spanish recipes. But unless you’re plotting a course for controversy like the naked chef himself, or are willing to throw caution to the wind and convention out the window, then please…avoid, avoid, avoid!

Trust the experts on this one, Spanish nationals have been making paella for hundreds of years and, given how much we love or food, you can bet that if chorizo improved the recipe we’d be doing it too! 

Don’t forget the most important rule….

Lastly, and most importantly, is make sure that you do you. We might have put compelling arguments forward for a specific type of rice, or shared the historical value of steering clear of chorizo, but at the end of the day you’re the cook. 

If you prefer your paella one way or another, or decide to experiment and venture off the proen route, then that’s great. Just be sure to come back and let us know if you unlock wonderful combinations that we might not have been expecting! You can find us on Facebook and Instagram where we are always ready to chat.