Posted Tuesday, June 24th, 2008 at 4:54 pm under barcelona.

Paella for 325 people

PaellaOnce a year they cook paella in the Born. They put out two long lines of tables and chairs. Anyone who wants a ticket buys one (8 euros in 2008) which gets you a large plate of paella, bread, salad, water and wine.

This year there were seats for 325 people.

It’s changed over the years. There are more tourists and it’s more expensive. Some say the paella is less good, though I don’t agree with that (in fact it’s never been fantastic). The atmosphere is completely relaxed with tons of people from the neighborhood out having a nice meal. I’ve been going every year for 10 years, when not away on travel.

Paella paddle
The best part for me is usually watching them make the paella. This year was a bit different. For the first time they had butane gas burners under the paella pan. Usually they just break up a bunch of wood and set a blazing fire right there in the middle of the Born. They also only had one pan, whereas there are usually two.

The photo on the right shows one of the paddles they use to stir the paella. That should give you a good idea of how big these things get. Today they didn’t really need anything that long, but it was nice to have around just in case.

And below is a short movie I made. I chopped it up a little so as to end with a frame of my daughter.