Paella is a type of slow food. It takes at least two hours to make and should be savored over a long meal with family and friends. A paella meal in Spain has the same pacing as a Thanksgiving meal in the United States. However, many Spaniards cook paella every Sunday.
Paella originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon near the eastern coast of Spain's Valencian region.
Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish. However, most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their cultural symbols.
There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella, seafood paella and mixed paella; but there are many others as well. Valencian paella consists of white rice, green vegetables, meat, snails, beans and seasoning. Seafood paella replaces meat and snails with seafood and omits beans and green vegetables. Mixed paella is a free-style combination of meat, seafood, vegetables and sometimes beans.
Paella has gained considerable popularity throughout most of the Spanish-speaking world and among Hispanics in the United States. It also enjoys moderate popularity throughout Western Europe.
See this link to Wikipedia for information on the history of paella.
Information on recipes and cooking techniques are available at the links below. Please feel free to add your own paella recipe and create a link for it here.