When the Wall Street Journal’s Raymond Sokolov set out to find Spain’s most delicious paella, his search brought him to the Paco Gandía restaurant in Pinoso, “a short drive into the rugged highlands from Alicante.” Rather than the expected shellfish and chorizo, this restaurant’s paella featured some earthier ingredients:
The rice was a golden yellow, garnished with tawny, browned pieces of rabbit and snails in their brown-and-white-striped shells. … The Pinoso paella was almost all crust yet each grain remained magically moist.
The snails were equally succulent and provided an amusing diversion as we sucked them out of their shells. The rabbit had the deep, smoky taste of wood-fired barbecue—little pieces of leg with the bone in, breast and even a bit of liver.
At the end of the piece, Sokolov shares a grill-ready recipe that “may not be identical to the paella cooked outdoors in the Spanish countryside over flaming vine cuttings,” but it might be as close to Pinoso as you can get without leaving your backyard. To give it some local flavor, you can try making it with snails harvested from your garden—though we strongly advise leaving your neighbor’s pet bunny alone.