The surprising reason to eat paella on Sundays

Paella is the quintessential typical dish of Spanish cuisine. This rice with seafood or meat has become popular all over the world, although certain traditions surround it in Spain. For example, why is Sunday the day this dish is prepared?

It is considered a holiday dish, family meal or Sunday. And although its origin seems to be in Valencia, it is a food that has spread throughout Spain.

spanish tradition

It is not something that happens randomly. This tradition has a very intimate relationship with the families that worked in coastal areas or near the land. They worked during the week and spent their holiday morning making a dish using everything they had. That is why paella has different versions, depending on whether it is eaten in sea or mountain places. However, it has not yet been understood why the coastal areas waited until Sunday to cook the rice, despite the fact that they had fresh seafood all week.

It could be said that paella is a useful dish, although it is currently prepared with more elaborate ingredients. Fortunately, nowadays, rice is the star of many meals at home and, although Sunday is the best day to taste it, we have adapted it to simpler recipes during the week.

For this reason, many houses and restaurants offer paella on Sundays. As a symbol of tradition and as a highly elaborated dish. Eating rice on a holiday is synonymous with greatness in Spanish homes.

plato de paella

Thursdays on restaurant menus

What may be more surprising is that, although paella has always been eaten at home on Sundays, some restaurants and bars include this dish in their weekly menu. Although no one really knows why. Curiously, they do it on Thursdays, and it may be due to another tradition that has two origins.

On the one hand, it is said that the fish was brought on Mondays and transported little by little to the cities of the interior. That is, some cities, like Madrid, the fish did not arrive until later in the week, usually on Thursday, which meant that this was the best day to serve the fish paella on the menu.

The other theory is that restaurants do a big weekly shopping on Fridays and therefore prepare paella on Thursdays to use up any leftover meat, fish, seafood or vegetables before they go bad.