PAELLA could be labelled as a UNESCO heritage asset if the Valencian government gets its way.
An official application process has begun via a declaration in the region’s State Bulletin to apply for Valencian paella to be classified as a ‘World Intangible Heritage Asset’.
The proclamation states: “Paella is the epicentre of the Valencian culinary tradition and the backbone of it; this, together with its preparation process and its cultural relevance in Spain, has turned it into one of the most prestigious global brands.”
Valencian paella has its own ingredients and characteristics compared to other versions in Spain or further afield.
It is normally cooked with seafood(prawns and mussels) or meat (chicken, rabbit, pork ribs, snails).
The supporting ingredients, besides the rice, are tomatoes (peeled and grated), paprika, rosemary, saffron, garlic and various types of bean or sometimes artichoke.
It became popular in the region when rice was a staple dish of many poor people and all kinds of ingredients were lumped into a pot to produce a fulsome meal.
“To obtain a greater level of protection and to safeguard this cultural asset, we will be examining the possibility of taking steps for this dish to be given UNESCO backing,” the Valencian government added.