It’s Official: The World’s Best Paella is from Santa María del Campo Rus (Cuenca) 5

Note: Here below is the list of ingredients for Valencia’s most authentic paella. Try this at home!

Worlds best paellaSeptember 15, 2013, Madrid’s El Mundo newspaper, translation ¡Alegria!–A restaurant in the province of Cuenca, el Posada Real, in the town of Santa María del Campo Rus, has won first prize in the International Paella Valenciana contest celebrated in the Valencian town of Sueca. This town located in the center of Valencian rice country has hosted this paella contest, generally conceded to be the most important of its kind in Spain, for the past 53 years. According to the jury of experts, chef Julián García of el Posada Real restaurant produced “the best paella in the world” and took home a diploma and 2,500 euros in cash. Second place and a prize of 1,500 euros went to the Casa Picanterra restaurant from Cullera (Valencia). The third place prize of 1,000 euros went to the Cambao restaurant from Miami (USA).

Other finalists from among 30 international competitors included Casa Paella from New Zealand, Vale Paella from Tokyo, El Redolí from El Palmar (Valencia), the Picasso Restaurant from Hamburg (Germany), and Jordi Freecook from Valencia. Each of the participants was required to make a paella for 15 persons, strictly following a recipe elaborated by the organizing committee and authenticated by the Club of Kitchen Chiefs of the Community of Valencia. Seekers of the paella Holy Grail please take note: The approved ingredients, besides the classical paella rice (arroz bomba), are: olive oil, chicken, rabbit, snails, dried beans (garrafón), green beens (ferraura), white beans (tavella), ripe tomato, saffron, food coloring, sweet red pepper, salt and water.

The jury, made up of gastronomic experts, rated the paellas according to the degree of cooking of the rice, taste, color, the symmetry of the ingredients and the crustiness of the bottom (el punto de socarrat.)

Sueca is considered Spain’s preeminent rice town. Its farmers plant 5,000 hectares annually with a yield of some 35,000 tons.

Here’s the link to the homespun video from Sueca:



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  3. Spanish cooks and housewives in the 60’s used the whole chicken in the pot. That included the heads and feet. In fact, with just the head, feet, the boned carcass, a few vegetables and some noodles you can make a rich, nourishing soup very cheaply. They also used to split the rabbit’s head and drop it into the paella. Some Spanish grandmothers still do. And at the tapas bars you still occasionally see tapas of brains, and testicles. Yummy!

  4. When I was a student in Barcelona in the early 60’s, I remember a chicken’s claw in the pot. Was this an essential ingredient for the region or something that just fell in the pot?

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