There was a time in our lives when occasions were incomplete without paella. We came from a lower middle-class family, but my mother made sure that this dish was served. I remember it looking so classy and expensive with tahong, shrimps, and sliced eggs nicely placed around it.
My mother stopped making them as the years passed. It was replaced by Filipino-style sweet spaghetti, which everyone seems to love. Although she wouldn’t admit it, I suspect one reason she ceased serving paella is that it costs more to make. Spaghetti and pancit, on the other hand, are cheap and easy to prepare.
Fast food mentality has taken over in these modern times. Everything has to be fast and cheap.
Paella can take a long time to cook, depending on how it is prepared. In Spain, it can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to make!
Whenever my mother makes paella, the only thing I won’t eat is the red bell peppers. I eat everything else.
Interesting is that my mother learned to cook it with seafood and meat. By eating paella in restaurants, I have discovered that this is not the way it is done in Spain, but it is common in our country.
As I started visiting Negros and Iloilo, the places where my grandparents originally hail from, I discovered that paella was a common party dish back in the day.
I wonder if it has lost its footing on all Negrense and Ilongo towns?
Here’s a great feature on paella cooked in Sevilla, Spain, where it is the main cultural food: