When Mr. Selfish and I left Barcelona and started our road trip around the south of Spain, our first stop was Valencia. The city has some interesting sights, which we’ll go over tomorrow, but those weren’t what drew us to Valencia. The primary reason that we decided to go to Valencia was for the paella since it was invented there.
As soon as we arrived in Valencia, we called Casa Roberto for a reservation. They gave us a reservation for 9pm, which was apparently when they opened. Yes, they eat quite late in Spain.
We learned from our cooking class in Barcelona that traditional Valencian paella consists of rabbit, snails, and chicken. Prior to this trip, I had always thought that seafood paella was traditional. Of course, we ordered the traditional Valencian paella from Casa Roberto. It took about 45 minutes for our order to come out. (If you order paella and it comes out quickly, chances are it is frozen.)
The traditional paella was amazing. It was the best paella I’ve ever had in my life – hands down. The rabbit, snails, and chicken were a perfect balance in conjunction with the rice, green beans, and whole cloves of garlic (which we didn’t eat but provided great flavor).
The next day, we went to Racó del Turia for our second tasting of paella. We ordered the traditional paella again for a direct comparison. Although it was still very good, it wasn’t as good as the paella we had from Casa Roberto. I also noticed that they skimped on the snails. Mr. Selfish and I only had two snails each whereas at Casa Roberto we probably had five to seven snails each.
Nevertheless, the paella from Racó del Turia was still better than every other paella I’ve had – other than from Casa Roberto.
Mr. Selfish and I agree that if we are ever in Spain again, we’ll stop by Valencia for some delicious paella.