96. Paella Day, Benicásim
the region of Valencia and prepared in many different ways
with different ingredients.
Benicásim, a beach town, pays homage to paella every
year, dedicating a festival to it. On Paella Day, hundreds of
cooks line up in the streets of Benicásim, each preparing their own recipe in a contest of
sorts, to see who can create the most delicious dish.
About 800 different paellas are cooked in the festival, and the number grows every year. The
festival, which has been celebrated for nearly 30 years, has become so popular that other
Spanish cities have copied it.
Visitors can freely walk around the different cooking stations. If you watch carefully, you'll
learn all the secrets of paella making, and you can also ask for recipes (though not all of the
cooks will reveal their secrets!). Until recently, you could also taste the paellas for free, but
now there is a small charge.
Image Credit: A paella cooked outdoors. Image by Ary29.
When It's Free
This is a free festival, though there is a token charge of €1 to taste the paellas. The festival
takes place in January.
Public Transportation: Benicásim Train Station.