Today on the tray: Paella

March 27 is National Paella Day.

According to Wikipedia, “There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco) and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well.”

I was first introduced to paella on Seinfeld in the episode titled “The Raincoats,” in which the word “paella” is uttered a total of nine times. I had never heard of the stuff before that.

In the paella subplot, George invites Jerry’s parents over to his parents’ for dinner; they are making paella. The Seinfelds refuse the invitation, offering a vague excuse about having plans. (Later they explain to Jerry that they simply can’t stand the Constanzas, with all their arguing and yelling. “They’re exhausting. It’s like being in an asylum,” says Mrs. Seinfeld.)

“What am I going to do with all this paella?” shrieks Estelle Costanza when she hears that the Seinfelds have declined the invitation.

“They said tomorrow, maybe,” says George.

The next day, George finds out that Jerry’s father actually had an unplanned dinner with Kramer the previous night, so the Seinfelds really could have come. George tells Jerry, “It’s going to be very interesting, very interesting, if they don’t show up tonight. You know my mother made all this paella.” But Jerry’s parents fail to show up for paella once again.

Ultimately, Kramer eats the paella, proclaiming it “an orgiastic feast for the senses.”

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