Thursday, October 21, 2021

Farmers Market Offers a Taste of America’s Original Paella at Fire & Rice

Photos by Maria Lamb |
First step – bacon strips are being seared.

Paella is a classic Spanish dish dating back to the 1500s and at the Marco Farmer’s Market, Fire & Rice Paella offers an authentic “passion in a pan.” 

At the Farmer’s Market, there is always a long line watching the cooking process or are drawn by the aroma of the ingredients. Paella is cooked in a shallow pan without a lid, allowing for the liquid to evaporate and flavors to soak the mixed ingredients of bacon, sausage, chicken, beans, rice, saffron. It is a feast for the senses—the color, texture, flavor teases you from the first bite to the last.

Most Americans know the kind of paella known as “Paella Turista” loosely translated to “strictly for tourists.” It is a mixture of ingredients from land and sea and served over rice that is often overcooked and sometimes artificially flavored. And yes, you can have a bad paella but at Fire & Rice, they offer none of the indignities of “Paella Turista.” 

Paella was born in Valencia, a rice-producing area on Spain’s eastern coastline and was cooked outdoors over wood-burning fires for farmworkers. They were made with rabbit’s meat, snails and beans, and traditionally were eaten straight from the pan. 

In Spain today, families and friends gather outdoors to cook paella either over an open fire or using a specially designed paella grill. This can easily be recreated for an American-style paella party in your own backyard. At the Farmers Market, this outdoor ambiance with the aroma of paella cooking resembles a large gathering of family and friends anxiously awaiting a taste of an authentic Fire & Rice Paella

The authentic Fire & Rice America’s original paella ingredients are: Bacon, chicken, locally made sausage, imported Bomba Rice, organic chicken stock, Imported Spanish saffron, roasted peppers, thyme, peas and Gluten-Free. The small container feeds one person; a large container will feed 2 people. They also offer a party pack that feeds 6-8 people.

Reminder: Marco Island Parks and Recs is reminding everyone to join their campaign in protecting our environment by not using plastic bags at the Farmer’s Market. Reusable bags are not only better for the environment but are a great way to carry your treats. Some of the vendors also offer reusable bags but you can also purchase a specially designed Marco Island Farmer’s Market tote at the large tent—great souvenirs for visitors.


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