A history of Big Pan Paella

On special occasions, 18th century Valencians used paelleras to cook rice in the open air of their orchards near lake Albufera.

Living standards rose with the sociological changes of the late 19th century in Spain, giving rise to reunions and outings in the countryside. This led to a change of paella’s ingredients as well, these being rabbit, chicken, duck. This dish became so popular that in 1840 a local Spanish newspaper first used the word paella to refer to the recipe rather than the pan.

The most widely used ingredients of this era were: short-grain white rice, chicken, rabbit, snails, duck, butter beans, great northern beans, runner beans, artichoke, tomatoes, fresh rosemary, paprika, saffron, garlic (optional), salt, olive oil and water. Poorer Valencians sometimes used nothing more than snails for meat. Valencians insist that only these ingredients should go into making modern Valencian paella.

At The Big Pan Paella Company. We have taken this wonderfully simple dish and bought it right up to date, Our Paella Valencia contains many of those ingredients, but fundamentally chicken, chorizo, a selection of fresh seasonal vegetables, prawns, mussels and squid, We add smoked paprika, always use garlic and olive oil. We use Bomba rice which we import from Spain. It helps retain the authenticity of our dishes and when it’s combined with our wonderful stock gives the unique textures that you can only experience in a truly traditional dish.

All our Big Pan Paella recipes have been developed with loving care and attention in order to reflect the traditional and authentic taste of Spain, tuned to the English palette.