VALENCIA – Paella is by far the most famous dish in Spanish cuisine. The typical Spanish rice dish originates from Valencia but is eaten all over the world. Yet the survival of this authentic Valencian paella dish is now threatened.
Rice with vegetables, black rice… there is no arguing with paella recipes, except when it comes to the Valencian paella recipe. The real original paella Valenciana must contain several essential ingredients, such as rice, water, olive oil, salt, saffron, tomato, string beans, garrofon beans, chicken, and rabbit. And nothing else. Although one of these ingredients is now in danger of disappearing.
Garrofon bean threatened with extinction
The garrofon, a large white bean with purple/brown spots, is undoubtedly the bean for the authentic Valencian paella. However, global warming as a result of climate change harms the cultivation and taste of this bean variety. This is according to a study by the Technical University of Valencia.
Some important parameters of the bean that gives paella flavour, such as structure and reproduction, are being disrupted by global warming and in particular the resulting drought. The bean needs regular watering and the soil on which it grows should not dry out. And if temperatures continue to rise as they have in recent years, the garrofon bean is in danger of disappearing completely, the researchers said.
If these conditions of drought continue, it could completely change the taste of the recipe that has made Spanish culture and gastronomy popular. Cooks will then have to look for new ways and methods to approach or even restore the original taste.
Difficult times for other ingredients too
The garrofon is just one of the foods that could disappear due to climate change. The truth is, the list of products that would be affected by rising temperatures is long. Think of cocoa, coffee, or certain grains.
While the loss of these specific foodstuffs is not expected in the near term, there are many indications that their production will decrease, resulting in price increases.