” I started cooking paellas in Venezuela many years ago when Paella is a Catalan word which derives from the old french word “paelle” for pan wich in turn comes from the latin word “patella” for pan as well.
Valencians use the word paella for all pans, including the specialized shallow pan used for cooking paellas. However, in most of Spain and throughout Latin America, the term “paellera” is more commonly used for this pan, though both terms are correct.
The people of Moorish Spain often madre casseroles of rice, fish and spices for family gatherings and religious feasts, thus establishing the custom of eating rice in Spain. This led to rice becoming a staple by the 15TH century when spanish Catholics expelled the Muslims. After wards, it became customary for cooks to combine rice vegetable, beans and dry cod, providing an acceptable meal for lent. Fish always predominated with rice along Spain’s eastern coast.
Acording to the tradition in Valenci, paella is cooked by men over an open fire, fueled by orange and pine branches along with ine cones. This produces an aromatic smoke which infuses the paella. Also dinner guests traditionally eat directly out of the paellera.