Valencian rice come in three varieties, Bomba, Senia and Bahía, all of them are semi-long rice varieties which allow for better absorption of juices during cooking time in the famous paella pan, or paellera (in Valencia, paella). The pan is very wide and flat and is traditionally used on an open wood fire that allows for very even heat distribution and evaporation of the broth in a rapid and uniform way.
Other alternatives when it comes to preparing paella are: Paella Alicante contains squid, prawns, swordfish and chicken; Paella Marinera is made with fish broth and clóchinas – a type of local mussel – squid, clams, crayfish, lobsters; and Mixed Paella which is made from both meat and fish. There are other ways to prepare the rice, although they cannot be truly called paella, except for some similarities in its presentation: Banda Rice is served with “ali-oli” sauce, made from mashed garlic with olive oil, and with a separate fish dish; Baked Riceis made in an earthenware dish with soup and sausage, pork ribs, garbanzo beans and tomato; Crusty Rice has chicken or rabbit with garbanzo beans, garlic and spicy red peppers. This baked version is prepared with beaten egg to form the famous “crust” that gives it its name. Black Rice is made with fish broth and squid with its ink that provides its characteristic dark color, and finally, Rice with Beans and Turnips.