Sailing through the history of Paella in Valencia
Having a good paella when visiting Valencia is a must. But we have to admit that to do so while touring La Albufera goes beyond it.
Valencia, located at the east coast of Spain and capital of the region of Comunitat Valenciana, is well known among other things for its original tradition around one of the world´s most recognized food dishes: Paella.
Historians say that paella (metal tool where the paella is cooked) probably dates from the eighteenth century, and its origins come from the blacksmiths’ guild which were outside the city at that time, which apparently quickly spread to its immediate surroundings, as L’Horta and the people of La Albufera. It is at La Albufera (National Park located 15 minutes drive from Valencia) where the tradition kept growing through time and it is where nowadays you can probably taste the best paella in Spain.
The best traditional dishes might not like to travel or to be exported, since its ingredients and local environment makes it specially authentic and real. And that´s what happens at La Albufera. The thruth is that no other of this long traditional recipe can be compared to the one cooked by a family from this area, next to a traditional Valencian cottage (Barraca) and made with locally obtained ingredients. La Albufera still holds centenarial traditions for fishing and sailing which only take place here, and it is one of the most important places for birds watching in Spain as there is more than 350 species of birds in the area.
A visit to La Albufera normally consists on three main different parts: one is visiting an old Barraca-Museum on which an official guide explains many interesting details about the native citizens that used to live in the area, another one is saliling through the rice fields and contemplating the unique natural environment from an adapted rice field boat, and it finishes enjoying a nice lunch composed of a paella meal or any other local fish speciality at the family owned restaurant next to it.
We had the chance to visit La Albufera on our last visit to Valencia, since we had the honour to be the first ones to see how our friends from Albufera Parc have adapted their boats in order to be wheelchair accessible. The experience at the boat is really authentic and fun, plus probably there is no better way to understand the ancient tradition about rice in Valencia than visiting La Albufera.
Please leave us your comments or thoughts about this place or about paella if you have any, thank you!