Why is paella Negra black?

A rice dish originally from Valencia is called paella. Non-Spaniards frequently mistake it for being Spain's national cuisine, however the vast majority of Spaniards believe it to be a dish from the Valencian region. Paella is one of the cultural identifiers for Valencians. One of the most popular Spanish dishes is it.

The dish gets its name from the wide, shallow traditional pan that is used to cook it over an open flame; in Valencian, the word for frying pan is paella negra . Although it may have ancient origins as a dish, its contemporary incarnation dates to the mid-19th century in the rural region of the Albufera lagoon, which is next to the Spanish city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast.

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The classic Valencian paella, known as paella valenciana, is made of round-grain rice, a variety of green beans called bajoqueta and tavella, rabbit, chicken, occasionally duck, and garrofó, all of which are cooked in chicken broth and olive oil.

Whole rosemary branches are occasionally used to season the dish. Turmeric and calendula can be used as alternatives for saffron, which traditionally gives food its yellow hue. The stems and hearts of artichokes are seasonal foods that can be employed. The majority of paella chefs use bomba rice, although Valencians use the senia kind.

Paella mixta, which blends meat from livestock, seafood, vegetables, and occasionally beans with the traditional rice, replaces the meat with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables.

Throughout the Mediterranean region, the rest of Spain, and abroad, paella is prepared in addition to other well-liked regional varieties.

Arrs negre, also known as arroz negro in Spanish, is a rice dish popular in Valencia and Catalonia that is cooked with cuttlefish (or squid) and rice. It is somewhat akin to seafood paella. Even though it is prepared similarly to a paella, some people refer to it as paella negra (or "black paella"). However, traditionally, it is not considered a paella.

Arrs negre should not be confused with black rice, a term used to refer to a number of heirloom rice cultivars that are naturally dark in color.

The ingredients for this dish's traditional preparation are squid ink, cuttlefish or squid, white rice, garlic, green cubanelle peppers, sweet paprika, olive oil, and seafood broth.

But many chefs also include additional seafood, such crab and shrimp. The squid ink that gives the meal its black hue also gives the seafood flavor an added boost.

In addition to Valencia and Catalonia, this meal is also well-liked in Cuba and Puerto Rico, where it is known as arroz with calamares on both islands ("rice with squid" in Spanish). Paella negra, a subtype of the Filipino version of paelya, is what it is known as in the Philippines (or paelya negra). Italian, Croatian, and Montenegrin "black risotto" refers to black rice dishes cooked with cuttlefish or squid ink.

Fideuà negra, which translates to "black noodles" in Valencian, is a variant made with noodles rather than rice that is typically served with aioli. Lets keep reading...