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His anthropology

Historical Anthropology of a Chameleon Dish:

The paella

By Frédéric Duhart (EHESS, Paris) and F. Xavier Medina (IEMed, Barcelona)
Published with the kind permission of the authors. PDF file : Article Paella Duhart-Medina
1. A dish good to think
2. The word and the thing
1. From Valencia to Tenerife: a Spanish story
A. Valencian origins and destinies
B. The conquest of Spain
2. From here or there: the European destinies of paella
A. The paella in France
B. North, East …
3. The overseas Paellas
A. The paella in Algeria
B. The paella from Manila to Tokyo
C. Some American paellas
4. The paella of the country meal at fast-food
A. Cook and eat together
B. Vegetarian or sushi: the paella to the tastes of the day
C. Paella at the age of McDonaldization
Conclusion: paella, a dish chameleon


1. A dish good to think

“Paella”, this rice garnished is part of the dishes whose name is charged with a strong territorial connotation: we are convinced that in the head of each of you, reader, at the moment when you read this word (as in ours when we wrote it) a lot of images based on the memories of your lives or your stays in Spain, your gastronomic experiences, the European weeks of your supermarkets, your readings or the calls constantly made to your imaginary by advertising.

However, it would be too quick to be satisfied to affix on the paella the label “national dish of Spain”. This would lead to forget all the ambiguity of such a name1, to retain only an external representation of the Spanish culinary art by omitting the feeling of the nationals with regard to a “national emblem” sometimes cumbersome, but still to abandon the original situations produced by its spread throughout the world, between exoticism and local roots. The story of a moving geography, the history of the paella is also that of a culinary know-how, its evolutions and its interpretations in space and in time. It is still that of a dish, ways of consuming it and ways of representing it. All of this will be discussed in this article, after which we will explain why paella is a perfect example of a “chameleon dish”. Nevertheless, before following the paella on the roads of the world, a detour by some etymological and technical reminders is necessary.

2. The word and the thing

Two etymologies of the name carried by the rice-based preparation called paella are frequently proposed. One of them anchors this dish in a thousand-year history by making carry out the term “paella” of the Arabic “baqiyah” which designates the remains. In Muslim Spain, domestic and modest workers would have made a dish combining the victuals (rice, fish, chicken) survivors banquets of the powerful: the paella2. The legend is beautiful, but the theory is difficult to sustain since the first mention of the rice garnished called paella in the region of Valencia appear only six centuries after the conquest of it by James I (1238). The real origin of the name of the famous rice is actually rooted in the daily life of the inhabitants of eastern Spain in the nineteenth century: “The pan is called in Valencia and throughout the Levante region, paella. the generic name of the Valencian rice that is generally prepared in the said utensil4 “. The name of the utensil is part of a long line of Latin and even Indo-European5, but it is important to note here that when paella was born, it invariably designated for the Valencian-speaking populations all types of stove6 and its use has gradually specialized and adapted in Castillan. Today, the term paella7 is used to describe the type of round pan with handles that is used to cook paella. In modern Spanish, this utensil is also called paellera, in reference to the rice dish that can be cooked8.

The definition of the dish itself is quite delicate. Originally, a characterization by the techniques used for its realization was necessary: a rice prepared on a hearth opened in a pan was a paella and was clearly distinguished from the rice of older tradition cooked in a pan. However, in the course of time, rice cooked by ways other than conventional techniques were introduced and consumed as paellas. Even if their only evocation is enough to lift the heart of certain gastronomes9, we will consider them alongside the more conventional paellas, because they are fully involved in the history and the actuality of this dish.

1. From Valencia to Tenerife: a Spanish story

A. Valencian origins and destinies

Rice cultivation is very old in eastern and southern Spain; its first settlements probably preceded the arrival of the Arabs in the eighth century (10). Nevertheless, it is their expertise in the exploitation of this cereal that plays a decisive role in the real development of rice growing in the region, especially in the Kingdom of Valencia where it appears already prosperous in the 10th century11. The antiquity of rice culture goes hand in hand with that of an art of preparing it, as evidenced by medieval recipes from the Muslim West or the very Christian Catalonia12. Early, some preparations combine rice with saffron, a spice with high coloring power but expensive, despite local production13. At the beginning of the 16th century, Rupert de Nola, a court cook, uses saffron to give a nice color to the broth in which he bakes his Arròs in cassola al forn [Rice casserole] 14. Nearly three centuries later, this spice intervenes in less refined rice kitchens, such as the Aragonese posadas that offer passing travelers “boiled rice with saffron” 15. Also, in the nineteenth century, despite the high value of the stigmas of crocus, is it not surprising to see saffron occasionally color rice in the kitchen popular, even peasant, of eastern Spain.

In this long history of Spanish rice, paella only comes late. Indeed, it does not appear until the nineteenth century in Valencian countryside where rice asserts itself as an essential peasant food after several decades which have seen its culture grow strongly16. It is basically a plate of the fields, born from the culinary practice of the agricultural workers: the pan is perfectly adapted to the transport and a cooking on open fire; the rice it can prepare is able to meet the needs of a group of forced workers and in its improved forms, including the addition of a chicken or a rabbit, guests of a country party . The original paella is a stimulating food, a breakfast dish. In the Valencian region, this status is still topical and it is only offered in the evening on very rare occasions (rice needs a certain amount of digestion, etc.).

Even before the end of the 19th century, paella acquired a particular dimension in the Valencian culinary repertoire. In the eyes of the inhabitants of other parts of the region and foreigners, it becomes a kind of typical dish, a centerpiece in the cultural identification of Valencia and its surroundings. In a letter addressed to the famous gourmet Thebussem, first published in 1883, José de Castro and Serrano evokes great local specialties, “national dishes” of a country whose cuisine lacks unity. “Valencian rice, which in no province can be known as in Valencia” inaugurates its brief list17. In 1896, the French Eugène Lix already films the realization of a paella in Valence18. At the same time, an affirmation of paella as a dish to oneself is slowly taking shape. Jose Antonio Giménez y Fornesa increases, from 1887, its Novelimo arte práctico de cocina perfeccionada of an appendix “that, among many other things, contains the paella valenciana” 19. As others before them had celebrated local rice, some poets sing the praises of paella20.

Even as it becomes a national emblem, paella continues to be a Valencian dish put to use in the construction and affirmation of a local feeling of identity. There are those whose paella valenciana is an integral part of the culture and the others. Knowing how to eat paella, as knowing how to cook it, is proof of belonging to the group of “real people here”. Yadi, a Colombian anthropologist, learned the hard way. We are in the early 2000s. Yadi lives in a small village in the comarca of Valencia for almost two years, she feels well integrated: she works there and has friends. One day, she was invited by a family, originally from Toledo but settled in Valencia for several years, to come and eat a paella; the dish arrives on the table, someone asks if some guests want a plate, this question is more a formula of use than a real question because the only correct answer is negative: all the guests start to eat the paella in serving directly from the common paella … except Yadi who in his ignorance asked for a plate. She did not see that all use only the spoon and she has, reflex acquired in his childhood in Colombia, taken a fork to enjoy his paella; then one of his neighbors of table allows himself a remark: “No, it is not like that that one eats the paella, one eats it with a spoon and it is better if one eats it without plate, directly in paella21, we can see that you’re not from here! “… remember that he too was a Valencian adopted.

That the space of the paella extended to the rest of Spain does not weaken the attachment of the Valencian populations to their paella, on the contrary, it reinforces it. At the beginning of the 1980s, the organizers of a forest fire prevention campaign chose to attract the attention of their fellow citizens by means of two slogans beautifully shot: “Hay paellas que matan” [“There are paellas who kill “] and” La paella es el plato más caro del verano “[” Paella is the most expensive dish of the summer “]. The Valencian reaction is not long in coming and is expressed by the voice of Ignacio Gil Lázaro, who solemnly declares that the “Valencian indigenous cultural heritage” has just been outrageously despised23. In such situations, the paella is put to the service, as can other cultural emblems, a localist demand, a Valencianism political24. Paella may also allow the expression of an attachment to patria xica in a more personal way. On a forum for travelers, a young Valencian draws up an inventory of “tourist traps” that exist in his native region. The paragraph he devotes to the paella shows a claim of authenticity based on the opposition between national and local space, with an interesting and perfect assimilation of the political territory (the Community) to the Valencian cultural space. In fact, it opens with two clear sentences (“La paella is not a typical Spanish dish, it’s just a typical [Valencian] dish.” So, never ever ever eat paella if you are not in the Valencian Community (Castellón, Alicante and Valencia) because you would be dealing with a different dish. “) and states that some people who have declared that they do not like paella after tasting it Madrid, loved it after having tasted it in Valencia25. Evacuated from submerged New Orleans after the passage of Hurricane Katrina, a young Valencian woman declares, among other things to the journalists who are waiting for her on the descent of the plane that brought her back to her native land: “As soon as I can, I’ll eat a paella. ” True cry of the heart or more or less conscious play with a local emblem, this statement offers an additional testimony of the attachment of many Valencians to the dish evoked.

B. The conquest of Spain

In the second half of the 19th century, when paella made its entry into Spanish culinary literature, it was strongly identified with its region of origin. According to the gourmet and gastronomic publisher José M. Pisa, the first recipe of a paella published in a Spanish cookbook is in Madrid in 1861, in the second edition of La cocina moderna, según la escuela francesa y española, a book written by the cooks of Mme La Marquise de Campo Alange, namely Mariano Muñoz and M. Garcíarena27. In the “rice” article of his cooking dictionary, Angel Muro is a long-time rice cook in the Valencia region and begins his recipe list with arroz a la valenciana to “pay homage to the country of rice, cradle of true paellas “28. The paella begins at this time to interest outside its region of origin, but sometimes at the cost of profound transformations. The paella as understood by the cook of the Duke of Fernán Nuñez is a dish perfectly adapted to the country parts of the very high Madrilenian society, but with a meat filling that combines duckling, chicken, eel, frog legs, crayfish, lobster , cod cutlets, snails, pork tenderloins and chorizos, it has little to do with even festive dishes that can prepare the majority of the inhabitants of the former Kingdom of Valencia29. In 1930, for the cooks who reign on El Amparo, a restaurant frequented by the elites of the industrious Bilbao, the sopa de arroz, paella, which is grated, and the sopa de arroz, “paella to the valenciana”, whose cooking requires an oven, are first-service dishes30.

The establishment of the levantine paella in one of the other rice growing areas of Spain, Andalusia, takes place at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In these southern lands, where other culinary traditions of rice pre-exist, paella is added to the repertoire of recipes, adapting in some cases and imposing oneself in others: it is in the very personalized form paella a lo Juanito that a restaurateur proposes it in May 1929 to banqueters invited by Sevilla FC31 players; whereas, probably, the paella that the gardeners of Cabra (province of Cordova) prepare during the romería that they organize in honor of the Virgen de la Sierra has replaced a dish of rice simmered in crockery of earth32. The implementation of paella also involves adaptation to the local food context. In Seville, it is served in the form of rations adapted to the practice of tape. At Mesón Puerta de Jerez, a classic establishment, native guests taste the owner’s paella andaluza in this way, while tourists eat it as a dish. Taking a paella ration is nowadays a rather well established local use, as shown by the possibility of doing so in the very functional cafeteria of the Faculty of Law33. Today, such paella tapas can be enjoyed in most Andalusian cities.

Until an early date of the twentieth century, rice occupies a very small place in the cuisine of several Spanish regions, like the Basque Country. On the best bourgeois tables of this country, rice appears from time to time during the first services in the form of fashionable preparations. In 1889, for example, during a visit of Bergara by his bishop, the record of the meal served to local notables consists of an Arroz a la valenciana34. Given its position in a meal whose best and most consistent are yet to come, we must understand that this rice is much closer to the preparations we met in El Amparo or the Valencian Rice of international cuisine that a real paella. Finally, these few recourse to rice are little, in the popular kitchens as in those of a famous restaurant of San Sebastian, the implementation of this cereal is limited to the preparation of some desserts, mostly rice pudding35. It is in the difficult post-war economic context, from the 1940s, that rice consumption is developing and becoming widespread in the Basque Country. It is first used to make rice with fat, cooked in broth garnished with meat or poultry. The introduction of paella in the culinary art of the Basque folk is later and has its origin in a range of factors: it is part of the culinary baggage of some of the migrants attracted by the work opportunities offered by one of the richest industrial regions of the country and is put in the forefront on the restaurant tables as on the whole national territory by the tourism development strategy adopted in the late 1950s by the Caudillo. However, it is only from the years 1960-1970 that the paella fully integrates the corpus of family cooking of the Basques. At first, it was garnished exclusively with meat, before seafood came to complete its garnish36. Even well known and consumed, the paella remains, in the Basque Country Spanish, quite identified with a dish of the Levantine coast, the Valencian Community and even Catalonia and Barcelona, ​​the cosmopolitan city with integrative cuisine. Over time, paella has lost its originality to blend in the mass of formulas of the usual cuisine. It is undeniably naturalized in the Basque Country, but there is no strong will to make it a “dish of the country”, to heritageize it regionally. The international paellas competition of Aixerrota, whose fiftieth anniversary was celebrated in 2005, offers an original illustration of this situation37. Because if the local culture is well represented among the activities related to this event that attracted more than forty thousand people last July, it is as well as Spanish dish, and even universal, that the paella is mobilized and staged. It is not a question of making it a Biscayan culinary monument.

Tourism development and the policies that have encouraged it form the basis of high paella, emblematic of gourmet Spain. In other words, the paella as a national monument is a legacy of the will of General Franco, an imprint in the gastronomic landscape of its representation of the Spanish nation, a kind of Valle de los Caídos culinary. Hence the current divergence in the acceptance of the emblem in Spain and outside of it. For foreigners, the paella is a typical Spanish (rather than Valencian) monument that must be visited at the fork. While in Spain, it can sometimes be felt as a heavy legacy, a plat-cliche good to sell more than to consume, as the novelist Lorenzo Silva points out in La niebla y la soella38:

We had lunch in a functional restaurant, with plastic tables and chairs, surrounded by Germans stuffing themselves with paella and drinking a sangria whose bright color, between red and purple, betrayed the wine from a Tetrabrik which had been used in its elaboration. The rice did not seem to be up to the price the card gave him; so that we decided to take a fish dish and drink some beer.

Propaganda and advertising operations undertaken by the Spanish Ministry of Information and Tourism (1952-1977) continue to bear fruit in the culinary field39. Indeed, the paella and the other specialties that they helped to raise to the rank of somewhat artificial emblems (being very early supported by the desires that they awakened among summer visitors) retain a real power of attraction. The tourist menu has survived the advent of democracy and is currently doing very well. Here is the sign posted in April 2003 at the entrance of a restaurant located in the immediate vicinity of the Giralda, in Seville: “Menú del sol – menu of the sun – sonnen menu: gazpacho sangria paella”. Wherever they are in Spain, foreign visitors are looking for paella, this Iberian dish: a recent survey shows that the majority of tourists who roam the streets of Barcelona consume mainly paella and sangria (day and evening ). The case of this city is very interesting because it has the reputation of offering the opportunity to taste paellas among the best of Spain, in restaurants of great renown. With his Paella Parellada, Set Doors, founded in the early nineteenth century, is one of his establishments. But this same desire is found throughout the national territory. In the easily accessible ventas of the Ibardin Pass, tourists hasten to order paella and sangria. Only a few meters separate them from France, but they are in Spain … in another dimension, beyond everyday life, where their dreams of Iberia must materialize as soon as possible, even if it offers the spectacle of a formidable shambles40. From the past border, begins the land of Carmen and Manolete, so inevitably, “the color of the paella41” is unavoidable on the table offered to lovers of picturesque. The Charlots make Spain (1972), a work intended to distract the French who take advantage of the prosperity and like to spend their summers beyond the Pyrenees, perfectly shows the expectations that provokes the said country. The action is concentrated in Catalan lands, not far from the border. But bulls, goats, Sevillian costumes, flamenco and paella are all summoned. The latter appears, flanked by sangria, as the main course of a wedding and gives rise to a series of gags very potaches42. The same logic prevails in the Canaries. The remoteness of the peninsula and the African sun do nothing, the tourist esteem at times in Spain and therefore feeds legitimate hopes, such as that of enjoying an authentic paella. Linda Waterman, herself determined to discover the perfect paella, described the Nordic tourist tables, in shorts and sandals, busy tasting the famous rice dish at the seafront restaurants in Santa Cruz43. The very well-chosen name of a restaurant in Los Llanos gives the paella house a most perfect Hispanity: it is the Paella Cervantes44.

The Spanish tourist boom is particularly beneficial to a unified paella, which it has largely contributed to creating. It is characterized by a mixed mix, cheap and finally very standardized. These last two features make it a real innovation. Indeed, if the fittings of busty paellas served during the campaign parties of the aristocrats of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century were already mixed, they were truly conceived as a riot of prestigious ingredients. Thus, in the recipe of Arroz (paella) in Valenciana that the Marquise de Parabere indicates in 1940, we find, among other things, chicken, fillet, eel, crabs, large shrimps, shells , artichokes45. At the same time, in the very heart of the Levantine cradle, mixed paellas were “traditionally” conceivable according to the moods and hazards of geography. In some coastal villages in the province of Valencia, in the 1970s, eels were paired with ham or chicken mussels. In Vall d’Alcalà, in the province of Alicante, cod sometimes came in a paella diario rich in vegetables (cauliflower, green beans). Nothing in these elitist or peasant mixes of comparable with the compound character of the unified paella. The local people were not mistaken and expressed scrupulous scruples about this hybrid and ambiguous paella, a strange chimera both too rich and strange, because ultimately too poor, given its variegated padding but without prestige. Even today, gourmets, like the authors of the very copious 100 Paellas are a faithful, denounce this dish where the shrimp combines with the chicken as a heresy47. Despite all this, the preparation of this paella mixta has spread widely outside tourist restaurants. In almost all Spain, even the region of Valencia less concerned is not spared by this movement, unified paella has become the standard paella, the most popular also. The dish created in tourist restaurants, pillar of a “fake-contact48” affordable with the Spanish culinary art, has penetrated into the intimacy of the house and family celebrations. Thousands of kilometers from the Iberian Peninsula, this paella mixta, whose recipe has been circulated early, is part of the culinary heritage of some Basque families in Nevada. Thanks to Life en español, Mary, a descendant of Biscayan immigrants, learned to do so49. In other words, here again, a picturesque paella is rooted in a highly invested practice.

On the whole Spanish territory, paella occupies today a place of choice among the dishes chosen by associations and the most diverse groups (think of a memorable sequence of Jamón, jamón50) when it comes to eating together . Its highly adaptable cost of preparation and its perfect adaptation to a fast, unassuming and generous service, explains for many such a success, which is hardly enough to make it a national dish51. However, the status of national culinary emblem conferred paella, without ceasing to be artificial, has become with real time, by the mere play of the force of representations. Even the communities most attached to their identity are obliged to recognize it, to do with it. In the case of Catalonia, balancing is particularly subtle. During the Catalan week organized in October 2003 in Agadir, the delegation of the Generalitat of Catalonia in Morocco offered a large paella of seafood. Such a Spanish dish was probably needed on the other side of the Mediterranean. But this paella is not only the convenient emblem of Spanishness, it is the highlight of Catalanity: Paella, like rice in general, occupies a significant place in Catalan culinary identity. , and Barcelona has erected it to the rank of its food symbols.

2. From here or there: the European destinies of paella

A. La Paella in France

Paella made its debut in French-language culinary literature in the second half of the 19th century. She comes to hold a well-defined function, that of representative of a highly picturesque and plethoric cuisine, more worthy of curiosity than esteem: “The paella is the essential dish for the great feasts of the Spaniards, because it is too expensive to be served every day, in some cases, it forms all the dinner, at least for cooking dishes, I urge the cooks to serve this dish only to Spaniards. “, writes Urbain Dubois in his Cooking all countries (1868), before presenting a recipe that uses beef fillets, pork, chorizos, ham, chickens, rabbits, pigeons, partridges, eels, pagers, snails, tender artichokes, sweet peppers, peas, beans, carrots and tomatoes … olla podrida found a worthy successor in the French culinary imagination … and for a long time: this recipe is taken again without any modification in the section cuisi foreign French culinary art published for the first time in 195752!

If the paella is depreciated by the French chefs, Levantine rice cuisine inspires them however. In the Culinary Guide that Auguste Escoffier publishes at the end of a life spent in prestigious kitchens, a Valencian Rice and a Poularde à la Valenciennes are mentioned. A reading of the recipes shows quickly that their name does not refer to the city of the North but to the Spanish Valencia and that a relative as certain as distant exists between them and the paella. Returned in butter, before being wet with broth and cooked in the company of diced ham, mushrooms, stir-fried artichoke bottoms and possibly a red pepper, Valenciennes Rice is primarily a poultry garnish. But it “can be used as a special dish”, accompanied in this case poached sausages. As for the Poularde à la Valenciennes, it is a pan-fried chicken then presented with a rizotto topped with slices of grilled ham53. In perfect autonomy, cut from all Spanish representations, these dishes have integrated the repertoire of haute cuisine. Even today, Valencian Rice can accompany a veal Escalopine with a ginger infusion on the menu of a Swiss restaurant, without suggesting anything more than a subtle reinterpretation of the great culinary classics54.

The situation of Spain in the French gastronomic discourse evolves slowly but remarkably in the course of the twentieth century, the representation of the paella is one of the witnesses of this change, as revealed by a comparison between the successive editions of the Larousse gastronomique55. Prosper Montagné proposes in 1938 an imposing recipe and qualifies the paella of “truculent food” composed of “edibles that usually, at least with us, it is not customary to associate in the same preparation”; he therefore presents the paella as an exotic dish, in the sense that it belongs to the kitchen of the Other, and heavy, since it completes its article by writing that it constitutes “a complete meal for itself, and a hearty meal “56. In 1960, the New Larousse gastronomique, reviewed by Robert J. Courtine, retains the recipe but the addition of a sentence at the end of the article, shows that if the paella remains strongly associated with a representation of Spain, its strangeness is diminishing, because it loses its immoderation: it constitutes “a meal of the most copious, but it is often served less complete57”. The 2000 edition focuses on the origin of its name and the great variability of its recipes; it presents it as a Spanish dish, but which is nuanced according to the terroirs and proposes a simple formula but which shows well that the taste of the day is not with the picturesque but with the authentic one: its ingredients are those of a paella mixed basic (chicken, squid, lobster, hull, clam, pepper, onion … part of its cooking is done in the oven but in a “paellera” 58.

When the first French lovers of paella tasted this dish in a restaurant, it is actually a representation of Spain that they consume. Here, for example, the Barcelona, ​​an establishment installed in the 1930s rue Geoffroy-Marie in Paris. Guests of this “Andalusian bar” can enjoy “the” real paella valenciana (special rice) “in a setting where guitar concerts are performed every night.” 59 The name of the restaurant is that of the capital of Catalonia (north-east) ), the bar is “Andalusian” and comes alive with guitar tunes (southern Spain) and paella valenciana comes from the Levant … Everything here is based on the combination of elements drawn from various cultures, “fragments of typicity” In a way, the product of this mixture is a surprising and artificial image of Spain carved with short cuts but which already knows how to seduce and is very easy to sell.In the second half of the century, mass tourism recycles old clichés and creates new ones, reinforcing the already well established position of paella as a practical symbol of the culinary culture of the Spanish neighbor, when it comes to celebrating the week of the Euro in Saint-Magne-de-Castillon, a small village Girondin, it is decided to serve the children of the school, emblematic dishes of some European countries. A paella, made from a printed recipe, is offered for lunch, but it is not served alone: ​​”For Spain, I had been renting costumes.That day the canteens were dressed in Spanish – the skirt and the little red carnation in the hair60 “.

With the arrival of Spanish refugees and economic migrants on the French territory, the paella also became in the course of the twentieth century a dish prepared by another close, sometimes so close that it ends up being adopted: a recent survey shows that in the Hérault, a generation made its apprenticeship with the paella in contact with Spanish immigrants and that a transmission of the recipe between the newcomer and his beautiful family played a full role when the rapprochement of the communities took the form of a marriage61. The important mail and phone calls received by Raymond Oliver after his televised presentation of a paella recipe shows that in the 1970s, domestic knowledge on this dish (fueled by immigrant experiences, memories of holidays in Spain or restaurant meals …) is already present in France62.

By slowly integrating into the usual culinary repertoire of the French, paella is paella, a banal dish, which does not dream much … especially when it is proposed in the refectories of the communities. However paella lives with the paella loaded with exotic promises more than it replaces it. The advertisers understood well. In the 1980s, an advertisement for canned paella told us: “My son! The paella! This rice! This chicken! These mussels! It is the same as at your mother, it is beautiful my son, and How good is the paella? / – It’s not me that I’m doing the paella, Mom. / – It’s Garbit / – Garbit? Another fiancee? / – Paella Garbit, it’s good like there. “. In 2003, a spot extolled the merits of the frozen Maggi paella, through a character whose gestural exuberance was more Neapolitan than Spanish. This is not surprising, because it is no longer only a desire of Spain that it is a question of satisfying but also a desire for a Mediterranean diet, as evidenced very explicitly by the packaging of this product: typically Mediterranean dish and light contributes to your balance and sunny your daily life.

Since it is recognized by their neighbors as typically Spanish, the paella is part of the cultural emblems that a community today very well integrated uses to pleasantly recall its origin: many Spanish cultural associations, like that of a district of Rennes in March 2005, organize evenings paella63. In Languedoc and Provence, the paella has a special role in the traditions imagined by the well-integrated Spanish and the French fascinated by Spain that make up the small world of bullfighting lovers. Going to eat paella on the Paul Riquet alleys in Béziers or on the Jean Jaurès de Nîmes course is an accepted step on the path of an amateur who “seriously” makes the ferias of these cities64. When in 2004 the Opel dealer in Beziers wants to attract fans to the party he organizes for the launch of the Astra, he promises them photo shoots with two matadors, Sevillian dances, sangria and paella. It is therefore fully part of the food component of a bullfighting subculture. Marquess of a true group identity, the paella does not fail to be mobilized in the criticism that anti-bullfights make of it. Josyane Querelle, for example, does not forget her in the dark picture she draws feras, events that, according to her, provide “cheap emotions” 65:

“You mix up quantity with quality and you get lost in mediocre stereotyped festivities.This is high-dose acculturation with paella and flamenco force-feeding”.

At both ends of the Pyrenean chain, in the border areas where the flow of tourists to Spain is concentrated, the paella knows a particular dynamic. Indeed, it is found early on the map of many restaurants anxious to attract travelers to palates impatient. In the 1950s, it is part of the ordinary menu of the gastronomic buffet SNCF Bayonne or Central hotel Cerbere66. Today, it is an essential part of the “Catalan” tourist menus proposed by the restaurant owners of the Côte Vermeille / Côte Catalane. In Collioure, Cerbere, or more inland, in Céret, tourists from the North, the French in particular, hasten to taste it, often after having preceded by pà amb tomàquet accompanied by raw ham and basting with sangria, while their Spanish counterparts look for dishes from a more French tradition. Also it is in the context of a very “Spanish” menu presented as “Catalan”, that paella comes to satisfy the hunger of South French tourists.

On the Basque Coast, in a few decades, paella has even become a local dish. Sometimes mentioned in certain menus during the first half of the 20th century, paella became recurrent on the tables of restaurants in seaside towns from the 1950s. In 1963, Odette Pannetier described in her review of the Vieille Auberge de Saint-Jean -de-Luz, paella valenciana, unavoidable and it is true that it appears several times during the relationship of his gastronomic stay in Basque Country67. If the name of this dish remains an explicit reference to Spain, its process of local rooting is however already engaged: in 1954, the Parisian restaurant The Basque corsaire offers its customers a paella that is not Spanish but “as in Saint-Jean-de-Luz “68. Little by little, the paella is literally basquised. Postcards bearing recipes of “paella basquaise” are a good witness. While the oldest pictures still make references marked to Spain by props placed on the edge of the dish, the most recent, like a biarrote creation called Regional recipe: the paella basquaise only recourse local emblems, in this case the famous Basque linen. This regionalization of the paella goes beyond a commercial opportunism, because it has a real depth. On the Basque Coast, the paella has found, in fact, social uses similar to those that are his own in Spain and is inscribed durably in the food culture of families without direct relations with the immigrant community or special interests for the neighboring country .

B. North, East …

The paella does not seem to find a very important place in the international cuisine of the second half of the nineteenth century, probably because it seems more picturesque than gastronomically interesting: Urban Dubois, who quotes it so far in the Cuisine of all countries, does not include it in the English version of this book69. Subsequently, the interest in French culinary discourse led to the distribution in many European countries paella recipes particularly bloated. This is particularly the case in Croatia, where, since 1983, Bakini recepti i njezini savjeti: stara francuska kuhinja, a translation of Renée de Grossouvre’s work Recipes of a grandmother we discovered thanks to Jelena Ivaniševic , diffuse the complex formula of a very heavy paella70.

The attraction of tourists for the Spanish sun and also, at least for some countries, the arrival of immigrants, favors in the course of the second half of the twentieth century the discovery of a “typically Spanish” paella in the North of Spain. Europe. In the cities of importance, many restaurants are in charge of maintaining the memory of the paellas tasted during the holidays, as well as the Vamos a Ver of Amsterdam, the Oslo Sangria, the Mesón de Galicia of Hamburg71. In Reykjavik, the paella is one of the dishes of the very sunny Vegamót Bistro / Bar, an ambassador among others of a very exotic Mediterranean72.

In September 1976, the German women’s newspaper Brigitte proclaims: “It is a little forgotten German good food.We will eat at the Italian or at the Chinese and at home, we cook the paella instead of the traditional hotpot73. ” Behind the obvious exaggeration, it must be read that the frequent use of Spanish beaches by German tourists causes a certain familiarity with the paella. For the young German generations today, the first contact with the paella is often made as part of their first holiday in Spain with their parents. Hence the complexity of the relationship that is woven between them and paella, flat intimately related to Elsewhere but at the same time extremely familiar since met early, which is more within the family group74.

In the United Kingdom, the activities of various companies specializing in the distribution of paelleras and accessories required for their outdoor use, such as The Paella Company75, show an interest in paella, Mediterranean food and suitable for outdoor parties. With the paella tasted during the Spanish festival, which is the opening scene of his episode entitled Bad tidings, the Midsomer murders series reminds us that in England, as in many parts of North-West Europe, the taste This dish of rice retains a touch of exoticism or, at least, originality76. In various places, the associations of Spanish immigrants play the curiosity and curiosity that paella arouses. They use it as a unifying emblem that is very useful when it comes to discreetly displaying the origin of their members while expressing their good integration with their host country: the Spanish community associations actively participate in Walloon festivals … with a lot of paella, like that of Charleroi in 2002.

3. The overseas Paellas

A. The paella in Algeria

Spaniards are among the settlers who settle in Algeria following the entry of the French army. Many of these emigrants, mostly from the province of Alicante, settled in the Oran region. In 1901, the Spanish community settled in the Oran department is made up of more than one hundred thousand people77. The cooking of rice and especially that of paella is fully part of the cultural baggage of these workers from the land of the Levant. Gradually, the reputation of local preparations based on this cereal is built and the paella asserts itself as a specialty of Oran. In 1931, at the International Congress of Gastronomy, L. Isnard evoked the influence of the practices of Spanish immigrants on the cuisine of North Africa. Two rice-based recipes are his attention, Arroz con pollo [Chicken Rice] and Saffron Rice78. When we met him in 2003 in a retirement home in Toulouse, Robert G., born in Algiers in 1921, kept a fond memory of the “very good” paella of Oran. It even constituted a centerpiece of the ethnogastronomic geography of Algeria that he kept in mind after decades of metropolitan exile: “Oran, it was the Spaniards and the paella” 79.

In colonial Algeria, the ways of making paella differ little from those used in the Levant. The composition of this dish made by men varies depending on the circumstances. With the simplicity of the daily preparations carried out on the edge of the field or the construction site80, the dishes are opposed a little better garnished with the days of celebration. Born in 1949, Jean-Yves Salmeron recalls the paellas his father prepared with him for special occasions: Easter, Pentecost, the fourteenth of July or the fifteenth of August. Their composition was that of a festive dish: the flesh of the chicken was side by side with other meats and various seafoods81. Placed at the center of outdoor family gatherings, the paella is committed to the affirmation of a community, or even in the definition of a colonial identity. Nevertheless, the independence of Algeria and the exile of the Blackfoot did not make it disappear from the culinary landscape of Oran and other coastal regions of the country. In the small seaside resort of Tamentfoust, about thirty kilometers from Algiers, the seafood paella still makes some vacationers happy.

B. The paella from Manila to Tokyo

The current Filipino cuisine is the product of a long history, the progressive combination of resources and local know-how with successive series of exogenous contributions: the baggage of Chinese merchants active in its islands since the early Middle Ages, that of Hispanics who dominate the region from 1571 to 1898 and that of Americans, masters of the Philippines until 194783. In this kitchen where the preparation of rice is fundamental, paella occupies a special place.

In 1953, the formula of paella appears in the party “festive dishes” Recipes of the Philippines, the table of culinary wealth of the young independent nation composed by Enriqueta David Perez84. Like many preparations of European origin, paella belongs to the repertoire of a chosen cuisine, appreciated by the elite. In reconstructed Manila from the 1950s, she appears on the menu of trendy establishments, such as the Keg Room85. Today still a certain prestige remains attached to him and the integration of his preparation in the popular culinary uses remains limited. Alona, ​​a Filipino girl currently living in the Canary Islands, told us that, in her environment, rice is consumed three times a day, but paella never appears on the menu86. The ideal of Filipino paella lovers is the classic paella valenciana, sometimes accompanied by aioli sauce87. In October 2005, while describing the preparation of a giant paella for a street party organized by the Spanish Embassy, ​​Dexter Osorio said it was not a paella but of a paella valenciana made according to the recipe of Alba88 restaurants. This chain, whose history begins in 1952 with the establishment in the Philippines of a native of Ávila, occupies a special place in the development of the taste of local gastronomes for paella. Today, she offers her customers a big fifteen different paellas. From this long list, we will retain the presence alongside very classic preparations, first and foremost paella valenciana, dishes more mixed like the paella pilipino garnished with Sisig (pork hash) and suckling pig89.
Filipino cooks play a significant role in spreading paella in the Asian space. Arriving from Manila in 1997, Luisa Ting offers tapas and paella in her restaurant in Taipei, Barcelona, ​​with a fairly standard bill despite some accommodations to supply conditions and island tastes90.

The current Japanese interest in paella is to be replaced by the curiosity they show more generally for certain Mediterranean dishes91. In restaurants specializing in Spanish cuisine in major cities, paella is one of the most popular dishes92. In Tokyo, it is particularly, in a very classic form, the menu of the restaurant Casa Paradis Barcelona93. As it did for some spaghetti recipes, the national agri-food industry has developed a paella in a bag, ready to eat in a short time and after a very small number of manipulations. Thus, while tasting the paella as an exotic dish that must be as “authentic” as possible, Japan participates in the development of the most contemporary forms of paella.

C. Some American paellas

The establishment of rice cultivation in the Caribbean then on the American continent is a major event of the great world food turnaround initiated at the turn of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Indeed, although its successes have been uneven across the vast American space, this cereal has locally taken a considerable place in the diet. This is particularly the case in parts of Mexico, a land where the first grains of rice officially arrived around 152294.

Une influence, ou pour le moins une référence, à la cuisine levantine du riz est perceptible précocement en Nouvelle Espagne. Dans le livre de cuisine du frère Gerónimo de San Pelayo, rédigé en 1780, nous trouvons par exemple une recette de Arroz a la valenciana. Il s’agit d’un riz cuit à l’eau puis condimenté avec de l’oignon, de l’ail, de la tomate et du safran95. Au fil du temps, cet héritage se maintient et se complète, notamment avec l’introduction de recettes de paella. Le Manual de cocina de María Isla, publié à Puebla en 1911, contient une recette de Arroz a la valenciana fort différente de la précédente. Certaines des opérations que sa réalisation nécessite et sa garniture composée de poulet, de filet, de chorizo, de longaniza, de jambon et de piments huachinangos révèlent même une parenté indéniable de ce plat avec la paella classique96. Dans les carnets de cuisine rédigés au début du XXe siècle de Lucía Cabrera de Azcárate, une enfant de Puebla entrée par son mariage dans une bonne famille de Cuernavaca, figure une recette de paella a la vizcaína97. Plus que dans une véritable référence géographique, l’origine du nom porté par ce plat de riz est à rechercher dans la composition de sa garniture mixte, qui contient de la morue. Cette recette par la longue liste des ingrédients qui composent sa garniture (poulet, chorizo, jambon, viande salée, lapin, morue, langouste, calmars, fèves, pois, haricots verts) montre que les paellas qu’appréciaient les élites mexicaines de cette époque étaient, à l’instar d’ailleurs de celles que goûtaient leurs pendants européens, des plats particulièrement riches.

The paellas that are now appreciated in some families in the Puebla area are much simpler. In the family of Teresita, based in Cuyoaco, paella is very occasionally, exclusively seafood and shrimp, relatively expensive food in this locality. Some of their neighbors prepare it differently, for example with pork or poultry. In this region of Mexico, paella is a dish known but not really rooted, then its distant Spanish origin is always present in mind98. The situation is the same in other states. In Veracruz, the paella proposed by the bar La Tasca, does not seek to be Mexican, but proudly proclaims Paella Tasca estilo valenciano. During the Las Paellas y de los Vinos Festival, which has been held every year in Acapulco since 1984, and similar events organized regularly in various localities of the country, great creativity is deployed and even strongly encouraged, which does not exclude the recourse to very mixed recipes99. But it hardly leads to a real Mexicanization of paella. It is more in the eyes of others, including the US neighbor that it has operated: the Mexican Paella is present on the menus of Las Margaritas (San Francisco), Sabor Mexico City (New York) 100 etc.

Far from Mexico, on the highlands of Bolivia, in El Alto de la Paz, Valencian rice has become a popular dish, after a process of creolization. Indeed, his favorite local recipe incorporates potatoes into pieces101. On the Argentine coast, in Mar de la Plata, paella is in the spotlight in some restaurants of the port and gives rise to the organization of competitions. The local paella often has a chicken and seafood filling, which can also be used alone. The establishment of the famous rice dish in the local food culture is closely linked to the arrival of a wave of Spanish emigration that occurred at the end of the first third of the twentieth century. The Spanish Republican Center founded in 1929 is a landmark in its history. Indeed, the activists in exile who frequented him at the beginning of his life, often gathered around a paella. This one, at first eminently Hispanic, slowly became marplatense102.

4. The paella of the country meal at fast-food

A. Cook and eat together

Making and eating an outdoor paella is an eminently social act, especially when the dish is large and the guests are numerous. Controlling rice cooking is a very delicate task. It is left to an experienced cook who knows, literally, to the fingertips the operations necessary for the success of this dish. It is indeed the whole of the sensitive body that is mobilized in the preparation of the paella. Joseph Delteil has perfectly described this bodily intervention in a passage of his Paleolithic Kitchen, while placing a woman where, classically, there is a man:

The gesture: from time to time, the cook, if she is Valencian, passes quickly the hand on the dish, in a circle, and she scents it; in flair, she feels if it’s ok, or if it catches. Whoever has not seen this gesture can not imagine it (or invent it, it’s from the source).

However other tasks can be delegated to less qualified people. Jean-Yves Salmeron remembers that the first form of his participation in the making of the family paella was to pound the garlic in a mortar, while carefully watching the gestures of his father occupied by the prestigious tasks of cooking. When labor is large, one can cut meat, the other cut vegetables, and so on. Therefore, producing a paella can mobilize a large number of people for a common purpose. Hence the interest that various associations give to it, which find in it a tasty way of bringing their members together. The paella evening of Lahonce / Urcuit / Briscous football club is undoubtedly one of its biggest games of the season. It mobilizes volunteers for a whole day and brings together over one hundred and fifty guests, including parents and elected officials.

Once cooked, the paella can be put on sale, in order to raise funds for the association itself or for the purpose of participating in a charitable operation. In Mont-de-Marsan, on May 8, 2004, about twenty volunteers, members of several local peñas make a large paella (sixty kilograms of rice, forty shrimp, etc.) in order to organize a meal for the benefit of the Handilandes association106. In fact, the great paella is the dish of sharing par excellence. With her, the feeling of commensality is exacerbated. Indeed, everyone eats rice from the same dish. Everyone takes and eats, much as if it were a secular communion. In Spain as in France, the political parties of all edges do not miss to call paella on the occasion of their militant gatherings: it can appear as well on the menu of the Feast of the Humanity as of a meeting of the National Front107 . Quite economical, very strongly federative if it does not contain pork or more radically meat products, the paella has also become a dish appreciated by the organizers of certain neighborhood meals108.

B. Vegetarian or sushi: the paella to the tastes of the day

One of the essential characteristics of the paella, very well described by Josep Pla109, is its plasticity: in the very heart of its land of origin, habits in the choice of products used or in the ways of cooking rice draw spaces at boundaries as sharp as imprecise, the threshold of a practice sometimes corresponding to the contours of a family, a small group. Originally, paella was made with the products available, what was at hand: vegetables, poultry, rabbit, small game and more recently, or locally, fish. In this paella participates fully in a peasant Mediterranean cuisine frugal and sensitive to many food opportunities offered by the various environments in which it is realized. In 2004, Daniel Ferrando, a 65-year-old Sueca farmer, confided to a journalist an extreme limit that he never managed to cross: “I have never managed to eat Albufera rats in paella but I tasted them fried110 “. If this is a confession and not a joke, such an idea could lead us into an exciting meditation on masculine cuisines and the limits of the edible. Currently we will keep the idea that almost everything is good for paella. Hence the existence of an infinity of recipes, equally legitimate, and a great ability to adapt this dish to new contexts.

At first glance, the vegetarian paella may seem classic. Indeed, the paella of verduras exists since a long time. It is even one of the oldest versions of this dish, one of the least expensive and most common. However, these two paellas are not equivalent. The main difference between them is not technical, but ideological. When it appeared, the paella de verduras did not contain meat, fish or seafood by poverty, in a food culture where meat products were highly valued. It is a paella of lack, of the impossibility of doing better. Of course, today we can make such paellas for pleasure, but this state is the one that was his at its origin. It is the desire to avoid the consumption of flesh, in a context where meat products are abundant and accessible, which nowadays commands the execution of a vegetarian paella. When such a paella is offered as part of a festival organized by environmental associations, let us think of Malaga Pinsapo 2003, the meaning of this choice is clearly ideological, even political111.

In this particular situation, the vegetarian character of the paella contributes to the affirmation through the food choices of a complex political identity, as it is done in other countries, with other foods112. A dietary concern can also motivate the choice to make a vegetarian paella, how would a dish that combines the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet and those of the strictly vegetarian diet be super healthy? Vegetarian paella formulas are numerous. Some very special fittings, are so many proofs of its rooting in modernity. In the recipe proposed by an American association, appear, for example, whole rice, broccoli florets, zucchini slices, diced tomatoes, pepper strips and … nectarines113.

Paella “good for health” is not always vegetarian. Cooks, professionals or amateurs develop lighter versions of this famous dish of rice, without removing from its filling all the meat products. One of our informants only combines rice and other ingredients after removing a significant amount of animal fat and cooking oil. On a discussion forum, a user presents a light recipe, made using a pressure cooker114. These quests of lightness are placed in contradiction with the classic ways of making the paella, as much by the techniques as by the goal sought. A paella, which is a good paella, had to be as invigorating as possible. Their existence shows, however, a perfect adaptability of the paella to a nutritional modernity, characterized by both a concern for health and an attraction for tasty foods.

At the top of the culinary hierarchy, some chefs revisit the paella by using it in bold culinary creations. In its Denia restaurant, Quique Dacosta pays tribute to socarrat (the singed rice that attaches to the bottom of the paellera) by a recipe named very explicitly arroz invertido115. In Mougins, in the Alpes-Maritimes, Alain Llorca offers a paella sushi. Each piece consists of saffron rice wet with sake, a fresh mussel, a lobster and a slice of pepper. Instead of being rolled into a sheet of seaweed, it is rolled into a thin slice of ham. As the chef explains himself, this recipe is a variation on a Spanish classic116. It is also a Mediterranean touch in fusion cuisine, which adroitly organizes the meeting between two great culinary traditions of rice by the telescoping of two of their iconic dishes.

C. Paella at the age of McDonaldization

In recent years, because of the interest that some manufacturers have brought to it, the paella is directly concerned by the McDonaldization, that is to say a system of production and distribution characterized, apart from any value judgment , by a hyper rationalization117.

Several Spanish companies are now specialized in the production and distribution of frozen industrial paella. Meritem SA, created in 1992 in Barcelona, ​​is one of the most important. It offers its paellador in more than a thousand franchised restaurants located in thirteen countries (Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, United States, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Chile and Venezuela) and half, since it is also possible to eat paellador in Puerto Rico118.

If the action of the paella manufacturers has effects on the spread of this dish on a planetary scale, it also modifies considerably the position of the paella in the urban space: the paella leaves the limited sphere of the traditional restoration to enter the world of fast food, in the form of a perfectly calibrated individual ration. Whether we sit down at any of the dealers of Only paella brava products, we know even before starting our dish that the paella of verduras that we will taste will include green beans up to 4.93% of the total weight of the ration that will be presented to us119. In addition, this paella is presented to us in an individual mini paellera or on a plate, which means that much of the old friendly dimension of paella consumption has not survived the rationalization.

Nevertheless, eating together in a restaurant, even if it is a fast food, remains if we want a moment of intense sociability. At the foot of the Sagrada Familia, we saw groups of tourists very satisfied with the thawed paella a few minutes earlier than they were enjoying. While one evening in December 2003, in a fast food restaurant specializing in seafood from the center of Vienna, one of us was surrounded by families eating with obvious pleasure a full plate of a paella which consisted mostly of a pale yellow rice garnished with a few pieces of fish. The entry of paella into the culinary repertoire of some fast-food restaurants sometimes leads to surprising gourmet creations. With the Waitrose chain, paella has become a garnish … sandwich120.

Conclusion: paella, a dish chameleon

By watching the paella, we were driven from Valencia to Manila, from country homes to microwaves. As much to write that we saw this dish in very varied situations. In its native region, the Valencia region, it plays an early role in cultural identification and, having become a local culinary pride, is implemented in certain identity productions. Over time, the distorting mirror of international culinary discourse, changes in national food habits, tourist policies born under the dictatorship and the foreseeable desires of tourists make paella a culinary emblem of Spain, as undeniable in the eyes of foreigners (strong identification element) as discussed by nationals (poor identity investment).

However, outside the Iberian Peninsula, in Oran as in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the paella is rooted in the local culture until becoming a real marker of identity. With the paellas perfectly integrated into some of its regional cuisines, the paellas with the authentic Iberian flavor offered by the Spanish restaurants of its big urban centers and the paella tote bags dispensed occasionally in its refectories, the contemporary France shows how much, at the same time and in a limited territory, the paella can be plural, can be part of systems of different representations and meanings.

Born from a country kitchen responsible for the needs of a group of workers, paella often remains a dish of “eating together”. Indeed, prepared in common or bought in quantity to a caterer, it appears on the menu of many associative meals, many romerías. With a reputation as a convivial dish, the paella can even be prepared today at the table of the living room, in an electric paellera strongly mixed with wok. This is not the only facet of its modernity, which has also seen it become a fast food dish with hyper rationalized preparation. Indeed, to the old formulas of a dish whose variability of the ingredients constitutes an essential trait, others were added, pure products of a new spirit of the time: the paella became vegetarian, etc.

Often adopted, sometimes creolized, often revisited, paella is characterized by a strong ability to adapt to the conditions of very different food contexts. It is done, according to the places and times, dish of the fields or restaurant, recipe based on marine or continental products, food roborative or lightened … Each time, some ingredients or some accommodations with the dietary-culinary uses in force allow her to take on the color of the cultural system in which she settles while remaining fundamentally the paella. For this, we propose to call it a “chameleon dish”. In doing so, beyond play with words, we want to invite a reflection on the complexity of the “globalized” destinies of certain preparations. The hamburger, pizza or sushi, they are “dishes chameleons”? And if they are not, what are they then?

1.- Annie Hubert, “Cooking and politics: the national dish does it exist?”, Journal of Social Sciences, 27, 2000, p. 10.
2. Buthaina Al Othman, “Origin of the word Paella”,
3.- One of the first mentions of paella appears in 1840 in a Valencian newspaper: Alan Davidson, The Penguin Companion to Food (1999), London and New York, Penguin Books, 2002, p. 679.
4. Angel Muro, Diccionario de Cocina, Madrid, J. M. Faquineto, 1892, vol. 2, p. 860.
5.- Lourdes March, “The Valencian paella – Its Origin, Tradition and Universality.”, The Cooking Pot. Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery 1988, London, Prospect Books, 1989, p. 101-102.
6.- In Valencian language: paella = stove; so: “arròs fet à la paella” = pan-fried rice).
7.- Only in Spanish; the word in Valencian is still used to define the common pan (“sartén” in Spanish).
8.- Maria Moliner, Diccionario de uso del espanol, Madrid, Gredos, t. 2, p. 534.
Xavier Domingo, The taste of Spain, Paris, Flammarion, 1992, p. 84.
10.- Néstor Luján, “Nacimiento y evolución de la cocina mediterránea”, in F. Xavier Medina (ed.) The food supply Mediterranean, Barcelona, ​​Icaria, 1996, p. 55.
11.- Antoni Riera-Melis, “Il Mediterraneo, crogiuolo di tradizioni alimentari, il lascito islamico alla cucina catalana medievale.”, Il mondo in cucina. Storia, identità scambi, Bari, Ed. Laterza, 2002, p. 11-12; F. Xavier Medina. Food Culture in Spain. Westport, Greenwood Press, 2005, p. 10.
12.- For example “Rice cooked with water”, “Harisa rice”, “Rice with honey”: The cocina hispano-magrebí durante the almohade epoca. Según an anonymous manuscripto del siglo XIII translated by Ambrosio Huici Miranda (1966), Somonte-Cenero, Trea, 2005, p. 229, 237, 245; “Rice with meat”, “Morterol of rice”: Llibre of Totes manates potatges of menjar (XIVe century) in Rudolf Grewe (ed.), Llibre de Sent Soví … (1979), Barcelona, ​​Ed. Barcino, 2004, p. 155, 157.
13.- Francoise Aubaile-Sallenave, “Alimentación mediterránea y colora Alimentación árabe”, in A. Barusi, F. X. Medina and G. Colesanti (ed.) El color en la alimentación mediterránea, Barcelona, ​​Icaria, 1998, p. 71-72; Antonio Garrido Aranda, Patricio Hidalgo Nuchera and Maria Dolores Ramírez Ponferrada, “Papel de hierbas aromáticas y especias en la alimentación española de los tiempos modernos”, in A. Garrido (ed.) El sabor del sabor. Hierbas aromáticas, condimentos y especias, Córdoba, Universidad de Córdoba, 2004, p. 130.
14.- Mestre Robert, Libre del Coch (1520), Barcelona, ​​Curial, 1996, p. 59.
15.- Francesc del Santíssim Sagrament, Instrucció breu i útil per los cuiners principiants segon lo estil dels carmelites descalços (late eighteenth century – early nineteenth century), Barcelona, ​​Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 2004, p. 230; Jean-Pierre Picqué, Voyage in the French Pyrenees …, Paris, The Jay son, 1789, p. 176.
16.- Jean-Pierre Amalric, “In the deepest Spain: peasants and townsmen.”, History of the Spaniards VIth-XXth century, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1992, p. 554; Mr. Fernández Montes, “Comunidad Valenciana”, in Etnología de las Comunidades Autónomas, Madrid, Ed. Doce Calles / CSIC, 1996, p. 613-614.
17.- Quoted in Angel Muro, Diccionario de Cocina, Madrid, J. M. Faquineto, 1892, t. 2, p. 997.
18.- Maria Dolores Fernández-Figares, “The cautiva imagen: historical accounts sobre el cine in Andalucía.”, Anuario Etnológico de Andalucía, 1998-1999, p. 102.
19.- This work is published in Valencia. Maria del Carmen Simón Palmer, Bibliography of the gastronomy and Food in Spain, Somonte-Cenero, Trea, 2003, p. 194.
Jose Guardiola y Ortiz, Gastronomía alicantina (1959), Alicante, Agatángelo Solar Llorca, 1972, p. 126-128.
21.- A formula in Valencian dialect explains very clearly the good way to behave in front of a paella: “Cullerà i not enrera” (“spoonful and not behind”), you have to eat your part and give way to others.
22.- Story told us by Yadi M. Henao Sepulveda, 28 years old, 09/2003.
23.- Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, “Limit situation: ultraje a la paella”, El País, 1983.
24. Franck Martin, “Valencian linguistic secessionism: dangers and drifts of a partisan use of linguistics.”, Hispanic linguistics in all its states, Perpignan, U. de Perpignan, 2003, p. 401-409.
25.-; E. G., 27 years old.
26.- “The joven valenciana evacuada of Nueva Orleans dice that the gestión fue a disaster”, Deia, 06/09/2005.
27.-: José M. Pisa, “Sober the paella y sus orígenes”, Cuadernos de Gastronomía, 2001. Precisions on the work: Maria del Carmen Simón Palmer, Bibliography of the gastronomy and Food in Spain, Somonte-Cenero, Trea, 2003, p. 225.
28. Angel Muro, Diccionario de Cocina, Madrid, J. M. Faquineto, 1892, vol. 1, p. 219.
29.- Joseph Favre, universal cooking dictionary. Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Food Hygiene, Paris, 2nd Great Edition, 1942, p. 1491-1492.
30.- El Amparo. Sus 685 platos clásicos (1930), Bilbao, Ed. The Gran Enciclopedia Vasca, 2001, p. 10-11.
31.- Isabel González Turmo, Sevilla. Banquets, tapas, cartas y menús 1863-1995, Seville, Area of ​​Cultura, Ayuntamiento de Sevilla, 1996, p. 145.
32.- Miguel Salcedo Hierro, the cocina familiar antigua. Recetario Andaluz, Seville, Centro andaluz del libro, 1992, p. 133.
33.- Observations and interviews in Seville, 04/03. The Sevillian component of our investigation was made possible by the warm welcome of Pedro A. Cantero and members of GISAP and facilitated by their wise counsel: Muchas gracias a todos.
34.- Luis Haranburu Altuna, Historia of Food and Cocina in El País Vasco, Alegia, Hiria, 2000, p. 271.
35.-Nicolasa Pradera, La cocina de Nicolasa (1933), San Sebastian, Ed Txertoa, 1979, p. 311-312.
36.- Atlas Etnográfico of Vasconia. The alimentación domestica in Vasconia, Bilbao, EJ & EE, 1990, p. 322.
37.- Amaia Artetxe, “El concurso internacional de paellas reúne has 40,000 personas in Aixerrota.”, Deia, 25/07/2005.
38. Lorenzo Silva, La niebla y la soella, Barcelona, ​​Destino, 2002, p. 205.
39.- Hervé Poutet, Tourist Images of Spain. From political propaganda to tourism promotion, Paris, L’harmattan, 1995, p. 27-134; Amado Millán, “The emergence of the local: identities, regions, cuisines.”, The regional cultural fact, Nantes, CRINI, 1995, p. 226.
40.- On a forum, a retired written (06/2005): “It reminds me of the Ibardin Pass in the Basque Country, where you eat in ventas for cheap.The paella good seven euros, the sangria to a euro !!!!! During a day, we dream … “,.
41.- Aitzpea Leizaola, “Border Tourism in the Basque Country: Games of Stereotypes and Identity Constructions”, Six Studies on Basque Society, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2004, p. 93.
42.- Jean Girault, The charlots make Spain, France, 1972, 95 min.
Linda Waterman, “Pursuing Perfect Paella in Tenerife, Canary Islands.”, (10/2005).
44.- Restaurante Cervantes, Ctra. in Puerto Naos, 467, Los Llanos.
45.- Maria Mestayer of Echagüe, Enciclopedia culinaria. The cocina completa, Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1940, p. 400-401.
46. ​​Francisco G. Seijo Alonso, Gastronomy of the Province of Valencia, Alicante, Monografias regionales, 1977, p. 46-47; Francisco G. Seijo Alonso, Gastronomy of the Province of Alicante, Alicante, Monografias regionales, 1977, p. 213-214.
47.- Ignacio Méndez-Trelles and Ernesto Cantón, 100 Paellas and a Faithful, Oviedo, Nobel, 2004, 204 p.
48.- Franco La Cecla, “False contact.”, Thousand and one mouths. Cuisines and Cultural Identities, Paris, Autrement, 1995, p. 82-88.
49.-Mary Ancho Davis, Chorizos in an Iron Skillet. Memories and Recipes from the American Basque Daughter, Reno and Las Vegas, University of Nevada Press, 2001, p. 142.
José Juan Bigas Luna, Jamón, jamón, Spain, 1992, 91 min.
51.- See remarks made by Carmen Ortiz García (“Comida e identidad: cocina nacional y cocinas regionales en España”, Alimentación y Cultura, Huesca, 1999, p 312) from an article in which Jeanine Friborg poses the paella as a national dish of Spain (“Festivals and traditional cuisine in Spain.”, Kitchens, Reflections of societies, Paris, 1996, 354).
52.- Urbain Dubois, Cuisine of all countries, Paris, Dentu, 1868, p. 196; The French culinary art (1957), Paris, Flammarion, 1959, p. 765-766.
53.- Auguste Escoffier, The culinary guide (1921), Paris, Flammarion, 1993, p. 573, 769.
54.- Menu (2000) of the restaurant of the Hôtel de Famille, 20 rue des Communaux, Vevey.
55.- We borrow here a method of analysis used on another series of dictionaries: Jean-François Raguet, De la rotie. Comparison of the 1984 and 1993 editions of the Philosophers’ Dictionary, Paris, L’insomniac, 2000, 262 p.
Prosper Montagné and Dr. Gottschalk, Larousse gastronomique, Paris, 1938, p. 1492.
57.- Robert J. Courtine (revision), New Larousse gastronomique, Paris, 1960, p. 748.
58.- Larousse gourmet, Paris, Larousse, 2000, p. 745.
59.- Advertising inserted in Association of regional gastronomes. Monthly Bulletin, No. 40, April 1935, p. 11.
60.- Michèle, 61 years old, Saint-Magne-de-Castillon (Gironde), 07/2003.
61.- Annie Hubert, “Transcultural destinies.”, Thousand and one mouths. Cuisines and Cultural Identities, Paris, Autrement, 1995, p. 118; Marie-Hélène Avalonne, “Food practices in the department of Hérault.”, Food and food around the Mediterranean, Paris, Karthala / CIHEAM, 2000, p. 107 and 111.
62.- Raymond Oliver, The Kitchen, Bordas, 1981, p. 446.
63.- The Rennais, 03/2005.
64.- Frédéric Saumade, “Hispanity in Languedoc and Provence, an image of the other.”, Ethnologie française, 1994, p. 734.
66.- Simon Arbellot, Guide of tourist gastronomes, Paris, Kléber-Colombes, 1954, p. 408, 424.
67.- Odette Pannetier, Hundred restaurants of the Basque Country, Paris, Albin Michel, 1963, p. 55, 65, 83.
68.- J.-R. Robert, Guide of tourist gastronomes: the tables of Paris and the Paris region, Paris, Kléber-Colombes, 1954, p. 63.
69.- Urban Dubois, Cosmopolitan cookery, London, Longman and Green, 1872. 599 p.
70. Renée de Grossouvre, Bakini recepti i njezini savjeti: stara francuska kuhinja, Zagreb, Naprijed, 1983, 413 p. For this part of our research, the welcome given us by the za etnologiju i folkloristiku institute (Zagreb) was decisive. Thanks to Ivan Lozica, Ljiljana Marks and Nives Rittig-Beljak (FD).
71.- Vamos a ver Govert flinckstraat 308, Amsterdam; Sangria Holbergsgt 19, Oslo; Mesón Galicia, Maretstaÿe 60, Hamburg; Vegamót Bistro-Bar, Vegamótastig 4, Reykjavilk.
72.-; Roberta Ostroff, “Dining, Eating & Grubbing.”, The Reykjavik Grapevine, 5, 03/05/2005, p. 27.
73.- Faustine Régnier, culinary exoticism. Essay on the flavors of the Other, Paris, PUF, 2004, p. 151.
74.- Silke Bartsch, Barbara Methfessel and Kristen Schlegel-Mattheis, “Pizza, Pasta, Döner – Mediterranean Dishes and the Everyday Life of German Youth.”, Mediterranean Food and its influences abroad. 15th International Ethnological Food Research Conference, Dubrovnik, Sept. 27th – Oct. 3rd 2004.
76.- Bad tidings, Midsomer murders, season 7 (2004).
77.- Bartolomé Bennassar (dir.), History of the Spanish sixth-twentieth century, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1992, p. 1025-1026.
78.- L. Isnard, “On Food Products and Cooking in North Africa (International Congress of Gastronomy of 1931)”, Association of Regional Gastronomists, 13, 1932, p. 5.
79.- Interview with Roger D., 06/2003.
80.- (Marie Elbe, “A full sun kitchen.”, Historia Magazine, 12).
82.- Nadir Kerri, “The last fathoms of summer.”, El Watan, 08/09/2005.
83. Doreen G. Fernandez, “Chinese Food in the Philippines, Indigenization and Transformation.”, The Globalization of Chinese Food, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2002, p. 183-186; Esteban T. Magannon and Marina Pottier, “The cuisine of the Philippines.”, Cuisines of the Orient and elsewhere, Glénat, Grenoble, 1995, p. 144-147.
84.- Doreen G. Fernandez, “Enriqueta David Perez and the Codification of Philippine Cooking.”, Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery 1988: Cooks & Other People, London, Prospect Book, 1996, p. 122.
86.- Interview with Alona D., 03/2004.
87.- Rome Jorge, “The Rich Taste of Luxury.”, The Manila Times, 21/05/2005.
88.- Dexter Osorio, “The Ultimate Paella”, The Manila Times, 23/10/2005.
Steve Price, “Restaurant: Barcelona Tapas Bar and Restaurant.”, The Taipei Times, 7/10/2005.
91.- Naoto Minami, “The Introduction of Mediterranean Food Culture in the Modern Japanese Society.”, Mediterranean Food and its influences abroad. 15th International Ethnological Food Research Conference, Dubrovnik, Sept. 27th – Oct. 3rd 2004.
93.- Robby Swinnerton, “Tapas and Paella: Paradise in Shibuya.”, The Japan Times, 04/03/2005.
94. Frédéric Duhart, “Consideraciones transcontinentales sobre the Identidad Cultural Alimentaria.”, Sincronía, October 2004,; Te-Tzu Chang, “Rice.”, The Cambrig of World History of Food, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p. 149; Luis Alberto Vargas and Leticia E. Casillas, “The integración de los alimentos del viejo mundo a la dieta mexicana.”, In González Turmo, I. and Romero de Solís, P. (ed.) Antropología de la alimentación: nuevos ensayos sobre the dieta mediterránea, Seville, University of Sevilla, 1996, p. 285-286.
95.- Gerónimo de San Pelayo, Libro de cocina del hermano fray Gerónimo of San Pelayo (1780), Mexico City, Conaculta, 2000, p. 115.
96. Maria Isla, Manuel de cocina (1911), Mexico, Conaculta, 2002, p. 192.
97.- Lucía Cabrera de Azcárate, Recetario of Tepetitlán (1901-1922), Conaculta, 2001, p. 89.
98.- Interview with Teresita Camacho Bernal, 10/2005.
99.- See the many photographs and statements of intentions contained on the website of the National Rice Brotherhood:.
100.- Las Margaritas, 2801 Leavenworth, San Francisco; Sabor a Mexico, 1744 1st Avenue.
101. André Franqueville and Gloria Aguilar, Alto de la Paz: migrations and food strategies in Bolivia, La Paz, Orstom, 1988, p. 154.
102.-: The cocina Pasqualino Marchese, Columbus Coffee, Mar de Plata.
103.- Joseph Delteil, Paleolithic cuisine, Paris, Arléa, 1998, p. 46.
104.- .
105.- “Soon the party for footballers.”, Southwest (Ed Basque Country), 26/03/2004.
106.- “The heart was there.”, Southwest, 09/05/2004.
107.- Michel Guilloux, “1959, the regions for the good mouth.”, L’Humanité, 09/08/2003; Christophe Forcari, “The FN already awards the victory of the national non-social.”, Libération, 26/05/2005.
108.- Meal-of-District, Toulouse, Cultural Crossroads Arnaud Bernard / IEO, 2001, p. 63.
109. – Josep Pla, “The paella valenciana”, El que hem menjat, Barcelona, ​​Ed. Destino, 1972, p. 89.
110.- Juan Carlos Rodríguez, “Examination in paella, El plato universal of 5000 granos.”, El Mundo. Magazine, 15/08/2004.
112.- Florence Faucher, “Eating Green: Food Choices and Political Identities Among French and British Ecologists.”, French Review of Political Science, 48, 3-4, 1998, p. 437-457.
115. Juan Carlos Rodríguez, “Examination in paella, El plato universal of 5000 granos”, El Mundo. Magazine, 15/08/2004.
117. George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society (1993), Thousand Oaks, Pine Forge Press, 2004, p. 43-133.
120.- Amado Millán, “Food Crops and Globalization”, Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya, 2000, p. 77.Barcelona.

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