What is "paella"?
What is Paella?
‘Paella’ *(f) is a Spanish dish made with rice, saffron, meat and, or shellfish. It is traditionally cooked over an open fire in a round shallow pan with two handles called a ‘paella’ or a ‘paellera’ depending on where you are in Spain. Tourists think of paella as a quintessentially Spanish dish – although you find it all over Spain, the Spanish think of it as a dish which is primarily Valencian (Valencia has a whole lot of pronunciation issues – please take a look at this link to find out more).
There are numerous regional variations – without more first-hand experience, I hesitate to to state definitively what the most ‘authentic’ is. If you have any first hand experience, please comment away – I’d love to find out more.
There is one important thing to remember in the pronunciation of ‘paella': if you see a word spelled with ‘ll’ in Spanish, know it is not pronounced like the English ‘l’. The correct sound is the ‘y’ in ‘yet’. In some parts of South America, you will hear it pronounced either as a ‘j’ or even as a ‘zh’ (the sound of the second ‘g’ in ‘garage’). You will never, ever hear it pronounced as an ‘l’. This rule does not apply to a single letter ‘l’ – that is pronounced as you would expect.
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