I knew that there were two things that I absolutely must do when I entered the Spanish leg of my European tour. The first one was to see a Flamenco performance, which I checked off my list. The second one was to taste authentic Paella. I was introduced to Paella by my Aunt Naomi! She cooked it for one of our many Christmas family reunions when I was still young living in the Philippines. I was bewildered. Tasting something so foreign to me made me feel classy. It made me feel cultured; bougie even. And if you know me, I'm bougie as it gets. The mixture of saffron, shellfish, chicken and cured pork opened up complexities in my palate nobody could ever call me basic again.
She said it was tedious to make. And boy was it ever.! I made it last year when I was in my "post the food I make on Instagram" phase. I didn't even have a paella pan. I just had a regular large saute pan. Nevertheless, after several hours of prepping and cooking, it turned out great if I do say so myself.