Wednesday 7th April 2021 | PRESS RELEASE; translation MIKE SMITH
The regional government’s ‘Technical Commission for the Study and Inventory of Intangible Heritage’ has decided to approve the start of the process to declare La Paella Valenciana as an ‘asset of cultural interest’ (BIC), declaring it as both a traditional and contemporary dish which brings people together whilst also representing Valencian society.
The paella is an identity symbol for the Valencian land. It has lasted for many years, carried on over the generations, allowing the essence of Valencian customs, practices and rituals in the art of preparing this dish to be maintained today.
The paella is a key backbone element of Valencian gastronomy. The various possibilities offered by its preparation, together with its relevance as a cultural icon in Spain, makes the dish a unique asset not only for Valencian cultural heritage but also on the international stage.
The preparation of the paella valenciana has become a social phenomenon. It can be a simple family meal on Sunday or be part of a massive rice contest, ideal anywhere which encourages hospitality, brings together neighbours, promotes intercultural dialogue, and garners the respect that characterizes the Valencian lands.
All these characteristics make the paella valenciana a very precious intangible asset, with a historical-cultural tradition of great importance in all areas, whether it be local, regional, national, or even international. The methods of cultivation and obtaining the ingredients for its preparation, the artisan tools that are used for its cooking, and the extensive historic tradition that it entails makes the paella valenciana an exclusive asset, deserving of a distinction that contributes to maintaining and preserving the cultural diversity of Valencia in the face of the growing globalization phenomenon.
The request was presented by the City of Valencia’s Department of Tourism with the support of the three provincial councils, the city and town councils, the universities of Valencia, cultural associations, restaurants and prestigious chefs.
Press Release – Generalitat Valenciana