In America, people love to spend time in community eating good food and talking about all aspects of life. Whether over the fourth of July, or during the Super Bowl, such exciting gatherings of friends and neighbors help to define middle-class American culture in the 21st century. But what if a new and different type of festival entered the horizon? Would we adapt and accept it as our own? A paella party might be exactly what the doctor ordered. Instead of eating pizza, BBQ ribs, or hamburgers, consider stepping out of the box and trying paellas at your next big gathering. You will be very glad you did.
What exactly is a paella, much less a paella party? A paella is a Spanish dish incorporating a variety of the following: rice, vegetables, meat, snails, beans and seasoning. Of course, you will find all sorts of paellas the more you look. They are not meant to be replicated, but expanded upon and perfected with different meats such as rabbit, chicken, duck and pork. A paella party capitalizes on the blend of different ingredients and ideas to make it an exciting occasion for people with all different tastes. There should be no excuse someone can give for not eating a paella. The whole point of having a paella party is to give your guests the freedom to try a new food composed of ingredients they tend to like.
When planning for the festivities, consider making your guest list somewhat small. A paella party is meant to be a fun yet intimate gathering of people who know each other quite well. Differing from most parties, paella parties tend to involve everyone present. Ideally, the whole group gathers around the food and makes the paellas together. Even with a smaller group of people, as the host you will want to do a lot of preparation in the day(s) beforehand. Make sure you have all the right cooking utensils and pans, have plenty of food stocked with different meat options (and something for vegetarians as well), and at some point you may want to begin chopping the meats and vegetables. The rest of the group can springboard off of what you started.
One good idea for the party itself is to give each guest a different role in the creation of the paellas. There is plenty to do in the kitchen, so do not be afraid to request assistance from everyone present. Plan to have sangria on hand as well; it traditionally goes along with paellas at a paella party. Perhaps one of your guests can take charge of filling the glasses while the rest put the food together. This is merely a suggestion, however. Do not feel like you must conform to a certain mold when putting together this unique type of party. Have fun, encourage your guests to have fun and experiment. The whole point of throwing a paella party is to escape from tradition and enjoy eating a new type of food in a whole new setting.