A TRIO of food fans are laying down the law on what can and can’t be used in a paella dish.
The group from Valencia – the home of the popular dish – have set up WikiPaella in a bid to tackle the ‘increasing prostitution’ of their favourite rice dish.
The trio, Guillermo Navarro, Paco Alonso and Jose Maza, were shocked by the ‘level of corruption’ of traditional paella recipes, in particular the use of chorizo and food-colouring instead of saffon.
Their site aims to be an encyclopedia of paella and other traditional rice dishes, through certifying restaurants that serve the authentic dish, sharing recipes, and answering the public’s questions.
There is a definitive list of what’s permitted in authentic Valencian paella – more of a challenge than it sounds as there are over 170 different Valencian versions of the dish.
WikiPaella plans to recognise all traditional paellas, including one with rabbit and snails to the authentic Valencian paella with chicken, rabbit and vegetables.
“If Jamie Oliver wants to make his own version of paella, well that’s good,” said Navarro. “But don’t present it as something authentic or traditional, because it’s not.
“Imagine if we said that we were making typical British fish and chips and we were putting oranges in it.”
But the problem begins at home.
“In Madrid, 90% of the paellas that you eat can’t be compared to the real paella,” continued Navarro, who has travelled around the UK and United States trying so-called paellas.
“Our objective is to have the majority of people know what an authentic paella from our region is.”
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