Wednesday was National Paella Day in Spain and the Guardia Civil took the opportunity to take a swipe at Tesco over its paella sandwich.
In a message to celebrate national paella day, the Guardia Civil encouraged Spaniards to enjoy the iconic dish but not with ‘those things they sell out there’. They said in a tweet: ‘Celebrate it with one… but the good ones.‘Not those things they sell out there.’
Tesco decided to stick the continental meal between two slices of bread ten years ago, and have been paying the price ever since. One outraged foodie even referred to the sandwich as ‘dog slop’. “Take it from La Guardia Civil, folks. Do not buy the dog slop paella from Tesco,” they wrote. Another angrily wrote: “Another British crime against food.”
For those who don’t know, Paella is a rice dish originally from Valencia. Paella is regarded as one of Valencia’s identifying symbols. It is one of the best-known dishes in Spanish cuisine. The dish takes its name from the wide, shallow traditional pan used to cook the dish on an open fire, paella being the word for a frying pan in Valencian/Catalan language. As a dish, it may have ancient roots, but in its modern form, it is traced back to the mid-19th century, in the rural area around the Albufera lagoon adjacent to the city of Valencia, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
Paella valenciana is the traditional paella of the Valencia region, believed to be the original recipe, and consists of round-grain rice, bajoqueta and tavella (varieties of green beans), rabbit, chicken, sometimes duck, and garrofó (a variety of lima or butter bean), cooked in olive oil and chicken broth. The dish is sometimes seasoned with whole rosemary branches. Traditionally, the yellow color comes from saffron, but turmeric and Calendula can be used as substitutes. Artichoke hearts and stems may be used as seasonal ingredients. Most paella cooks use bomba rice, but Valencians tend to use a cultivar known as senia.
Paella de marisco (seafood paella) replaces meat with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables, while paella mixta (mixed paella) combines meat from livestock, seafood, vegetables, and sometimes beans, with the traditional rice. Other popular local variations of paella are cooked throughout the Mediterranean area, the rest of Spain, and internationally.