arròs al forn

A guide to food in Spain

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There’s a trick question popular with press interviewers, ” Paella o arròs al forn?” This is used to test someone’s loyalty to the Catalan flag (usually a new player for Barcelona!) or the vexed question of whether Valencia is really a part of Catalonia . Baked rice is basically a paella finished in the oven rather than over a barbecue. It’s much more convenient, naturally, and is easier to make. Purists will deride the lack of the socarra , but on the whole it’s a good alternative. For some reason baked rice seems more substantial, stodgy even, than a paella.

by Simon Rice