Although created in Spain, paella would not be possible were it not for the Moors. These north African Berbers invaded Spain in the 700's and ruled the country for nearly 800 years. The Moors brought with them rice (the Spanish word for rice, arroz, is actually an Arabic word). They also brought with them the knowledge regarding rice-farming. The city of Valencia was one of the first coastal cities occupied by the Moors. Valencia's surrounding wetlands proved to be a perfect spot for growing rice. But, the Moors didn't stop there. They also brought another signature ingredient for paella: saffron.
Southern Spain's famous dish takes its name from the wide, shallow traditional pan that was used to cook it in the fields of Valencia. (Paella actually means frying pan.) Paella Valenciana ("in the style of Valencia"), today remains one of the most popular versions of the dish, and today still closely parallels the original recipe served to the rural laborers of centuries-past. Seafood paella is another favorite---shrimps, clams, mussels, and squid replace poultry, and a seafood broth stands in for the poultry stock. Saffron is used in broth.
Wine-Knows will be visiting southern Spain's Mediterranean where it all began. In addition to Mallorca island, we'll also tour the don't-miss southern cities of Seville and Granada---both architectural Moorish gems. There are only 2 spots remaining.