Paella is one of if not the most iconic Spanish food dishes that leaves people wanting more. To put it into comparison, paella is to Spain as is what pizza and pasta is to Italy. It is a family dish that is great for small and big events as well. However even though it is a very popular dish you may have noticed that it is quite hard to the best paella in Sydney.
The key to finding the best paella in Sydney is knowing what ingredients they use how they prepare their meals. The true Spanish dish is created by simmering chicken or seafood with vegetables, rice, saffron and other spices. Restaurants and food vendors that use the proper ingredients and cooking utensils will have the best paella in Sydney so that is where you should start looking.
Here are some helpful tips to help you on your quest when looking for the best paella in Sydney.
One of the easiest ways to determine the quality of the dish is the price that you are paying for it. Paella consists of quality ingredients so if you are paying little to nothing for a dish you may also get little to no quality put into it. Restaurants that have more expensive meals may also include products such as chorizo and high quality seafood and chicken into their dishes. Additionally if the price is higher on the dishes it is common that it is in place to outweigh the cost of the cooking utensils used. We’ll go into a bit more detail next about which cooking utensils are the best for high quality dishes.
Now while more money equals higher quality may be true for some cases, it doesn’t always work out that way. If you restaurants spend a lot of money on utensils and ingredients but don’t have the proper training or experience to accommodate that, the dishes will still fall short. That’s why it is important to do your research beforehand so that you aren’t met with any disappointment.
The cooking utensils
Now while you can make paella in a traditional saucepan or pot, to get the best paella in Sydney you want to be sure that they use the proper cooking utensils. If you are looking for quality the restaurant or food vendor should have a cast iron pan that is specifically designed for cooking these types of dishes. These pans differ from other utensils as they are larger and have different reactions with the food to give it a unique taste.
A polished carbon steel pan is a traditional pan that is used by masters of the art. How they differ from traditional and other pans is that when you use it for many different dishes a patina starts to develop on the pan. This thin layer occurs from continuous reaction of the ingredients with the steel which gives the dishes an extra oomph of flavour.
Now you may be thinking that a film on the pan is gross and that you don’t want it. However this film is key to the true connoisseur of the dish and simply isn’t the same without it.
What truly makes the best paella in Sydney is the ingredients that are used. As previously mentioned, if the dish is dirt cheap it is more than likely that you will be getting cheap ingredients. In saying that good quality ingredients won’t necessarily break your bank. It’s how the chef can effectively and efficiently use these ingredients to unlock a world of flavour.
One of the key ingredients to the best paella in Sydney is saffron. Before you order a dish be sure to ask what type of saffron the restaurant or food vendor uses. If they uses threads of saffron that are prepared beforehand you can be sure that you are getting the best Spanish cuisine has to offer. Additionally saffron powder may sound the same but it can impact the overall taste and quality of the dish.
The rice that is used is also a very important factor that needs to be considered before you make your order. Traditionally short-grained rice is the preferred choice where risotto is frowned upon in the Spanish cooking community. This is an easy question to ask to ensure that you are getting the best paella in Sydney. The best choice that you can get is bomba which is high in starch to allow it to be cooked and simmered over a long period of time while still holding its shape and flavour.
So the next time you are craving an authentic Spanish dish make sure you pay attention to the little details to make a big difference in quality. While they may seem simple they can be crucial in the overall taste of the dish and are very noticeable once you taste the difference.