SPAIN: AT BREAKING POINT? A political and economic analysis for 2013 IBERIANS OF THE YEAR: The most influential people and groups of 2012

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The iconic dish of Spain. The food version of flamenco. And, like flamenco, there are as many styles as there are people to make it. Home-cooked, anyone will tell you is always the best, though exactly what should go in and what should stay out is the source of dinner-table discussions everywhere. The main variety is familiar to nearly everyone – and a few fast-food versions have been put on restaurant menus in recent years, to the disgust of true aficionados – though there are several notable variations on the theme, including:

  • Paella Negra: blackened with squid ink for effect and flavour.
  • Paella Fideus:  No rice, but small curly pasta (fideus) used in its place.
  • Paella Ciega (Blind Paella): Shell fish are de-shelled, prawns are skinned, and any other chewy or unchewable bits removed – easy eating for the lazy or, as the name implies, the visually impaired.