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Authentic Paella in Barcelona! | Devour Barcelona

Hi I'm James Blick, co-founder of Devour Tours.

And I'm Lauren, the other co-founder of Devour Tours.

And here we are in the Barceloneta. Beautiful neighborhood down by the seashore in Barcelona.

It's so different from the rest of the city. It's the old fisherman's neighborhood

and it's a wonderful place to eat rice dishes like paella!

Yes, and so we're on a hunt today for an authentic paella in Barcelona. It's not as easy as it sounds to find!

And we're going to go into Can Solé, a restaurant with 114 years of history. So let's see!

So here we are inside of Can Solé, a restaurant that's been here since 1903

and has passed through four generations.

And you'll notice we are not on a terrace with seaside views.

The authentic paella restaurants in Barcelona are within the Barceloneta neighborhood

and this is where we're going to be trying authentic paella today.

And you'll also notice it's not evening. We're here during the day.

And what is traditional for paella is to have it for lunch, not for dinner.

Now of course you can have it for dinner, but the locals have it for lunch.

The reason is rice dishes are heavy. So if you have it late in the evening, when we eat dinner in Spain,

you won't sleep well.

And the next thing is, when you're looking for a paella place,

avoid the ones that have photos of the paella outside.

I often say that in Spain you can get the best and the worst paella. There's so much demand for paella

that often there's a lot of frozen paella that is reheated and served.

So you need a paella that you have to wait for. About 20 minutes or so—that's what we're waiting for now.

And one thing you'll notice when you eat a traditional Spanish restaurant

is they often have photos all over the walls of all the famous people that have eaten here.

And come Sundays, walls are covered with photos

of all the famous people that have enjoyed the delicious paella here.

So what a lot of people don't know about when they come to eat a paella is it's not just about the rice!

You also have to order "entrantes"—appetizers.

And in paella restaurants, these can range from fresh salads to fried specialties.

Today we've ordered three of Can Solé's specialties.

We have delicious foie and jamón ibérico croquettes,

buñuelos de bacalao, which are salt cod fritters,

and we have sepia in the house style. So the Can Solé style is with a homemade tomato sauce.

We're going to try them and if these are good, we know the paella will be good and authentic.

Okay, here she is! We finally have our paella.

We've been waiting about 25 minutes, which is the time it should always take for you to get your paella

freshly made from the kitchen.

And it's a paella that has seafood in it today.

One thing you'll notice with this paella that the color is not a bright orange.

Now if you see a paella of bright orange color, that's probably food coloring, the bright yellow.

And so that's not authentic. Now people think that that might be the saffron that's making it that color.

If paella has a yellow tinge, it is saffron, but not all paellas have saffron in them.

In fact, this one doesn't. And its wonderful rich color comes from the tomato sauce base

and the fresh tomatoes that are used when the paella is made.

The other thing that people often think is that a paella should come with mountains of calamari

and chorizo and shellfish and shrimp and things like that.

But no—the paella is all about the rice.

That's the key. It's not a protein dish.

So of course there's going to be seafood that's used to give the rice the flavor,

and of course some decorative seafood, but it's about the flavor of the rice. That is key.

So don't expect a million things on top.

And the last thing that might surprise you when you eat a traditional, authentic paella

is the bottom is going to be slightly caramelized.

And I see reviews all the time online saying "oh, we went to have the paella and it was burnt on the bottom!"

That's not burnt! That's the magic. It's called socarrat. And let's see if we've got some socarrat today.

Do you hear that?

That's the caramelized crust we want.

Let's try it!

I would love some, thank you.

All right, we finished our paella. We've done it! It was delicious.

It was a lot of food, but that just means that we can have a siesta now!

An authentic siesta, which is 20 minutes maximum. Any longer and it's not a real siesta.

You're never in your pajamas and you're never in bed. Always on the sofa.

And before the siesta?

Café solo—black coffee!

Thanks for watching, everybody. If you enjoyed the video and found it helpful, give it a thumbs up.

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And if you're in Spain and you want to have a delicious, authentic food experience

then jump on one of our tours throughout the country.

Thanks for watching.

Don't just visit Spain, Devour it!