Lockdown Day 26: Not “Pie El La” / Encierro Día 26: No “Pai Ela”

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

OUR FRIEND PEDRO MAKES A wicked paella. Do people still use the word wicked, as in wicked good? That’s how the word was used in Boston when I lived there and that’s what I mean. Pedro’s paella is wicked good.

Kathleen shared the recipe with San Geraldo and we recently enjoyed two meals. I thought it was delicious, although San Geraldo wasn’t satisfied with the outcome. But, he says he understands the recipe and process better now. I’m very happy to sample some more. I’d even make him another cup of instant coffee to show my appreciation (see yesterday’s post).

Paella is very popular with locals, in addition to being a well-known dish for tourists. Many British tourists, however, don’t pronounce the word correctly and I was shocked when I went online and discovered that the incorrect pronunciation is actually taught as the British way to say paella. Sorry, but I just don’t get it, especially when the only place they likely order it is in Spanish-speaking countries.

So here are a couple of audio recordings of what the word should really sound like here in Andalucía. I included the second recording simply because I found the video entertaining in a ‘Well, isn’t that peculiar, sort of way.’

Be sure to click to enlarge the recipe and to see Proud-as-a-Peacock Pedro long before he and Kathleen went into lockdown with a 4-year-old and a 7-month old.

And don’t forget Step 13:
“Enjoy how it melts in your mouth while you think of Pedro.”


NUESTRO AMIGO PEDRO HACE UNA “wicked” [malvada] paella. ¿La gente todavía usa la palabra “wicked” [malvado], como en “wicked good” [malvado bien]? Así es como se usaba la palabra en Boston cuando vivía allí y a eso me refiero. La paella de Pedro es malvada bien.

Kathleen compartió la receta con San Geraldo y recientemente disfrutamos de dos comidas. Pensé que estaba delicioso, aunque San Geraldo no estaba satisfecho con el resultado. Pero, dice que entiende la receta y el proceso mejor ahora. Estoy muy feliz de probar un poco más. Incluso le haría otra taza de café instantáneo para mostrar mi agradecimiento (ver mi blog de ayer).

La paella es muy popular entre los lugareños, además de ser un plato muy conocido para los turistas. Sin embargo, muchos turistas británicos no pronuncian la palabra correctamente. Se dicen Pai Ela. Me sorprendió cuando me conecté en línea y descubrí que la pronunciación incorrecta se enseña como la forma británica de decir paella. Lo siento, pero no lo entiendo, especialmente cuando el único lugar donde lo piden es en países donde se habla español.

Aquí hay un par de grabaciones de audio de cómo debería sonar realmente la palabra aquí en Andalucía. Incluí la segunda grabación simplemente porque encontré el video entretenido en un sentido, ‘Bueno, ¿no es eso peculiar?’

Asegúrese de hacer clic para agrandar la receta y ver a Pedro orgulloso como un pavo real mucho antes de que él y Kathleen se encerró con un niño de 4 años y otro de 7 meses.

Y no olvides el Paso 13 que dice:
“Disfruta de cómo se derrite en tu boca mientras piensas en Pedro”.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

35 thoughts on “Lockdown Day 26: Not “Pie El La” / Encierro Día 26: No “Pai Ela””

  1. Can barely remember the last time I had/made Paella…..many moons ago.
    Maybe I will try it once again since I now have a recipe.
    Thanks for sharing this!!

  2. #13 – my mind went right to naughty thoughts.

    3 of my co-workers have little kids; I would not trade places with any of them. it’s tough just being an adult with another adult and 3 cats under foot during this lockdown.

    1. anne marie:
      Yeah, Step 13 would be a doozy.

      I wouldn’t trade places either. Many parents have my admiration right now.

  3. Absolutely, people in New England still say “wicked good” or just “wicked!” as an exclamation of approval (like “brilliant!” from our British friends). And it’s wicked good to see you using the word correctly — it’s an adverb/intensifier, never an adjective. If you want to say someone is a bad person, you don’t say “he’s a wicked person”, you say, he’s acting “wicked ugly!”

    “Wickedly” is only ever used by snotty people from New York when, out of sheer ignorance, they attempt to correct us because they think we’re saying it wrong and don’t know any better. Thanks for the laugh!

    1. Lynn Marie:
      Aw, thanks for the confirmation. I can just hear the accent in those phrases. I miss that! That was a wicked good comment!

  4. Mitchell, muchas gracias por la receta. Vamos a probarla. Here in Medellin folks would pronounce it more like ‘pay-ey-ja’, the doble ellay sounding very much like a J here. Medellin becomes Med-e-jin, chicken is poy-jo, ‘here’ is ah-ja, etc. Thanks again, keep ’em coming.

    1. MEBE in Medillin:
      There are people here in Spain who have that “J” sound, too. Some do, some don’t.

  5. It has been a while since I have made Paella, and I was over doing it, making it to complicated. Can we watch the How To Pronounce dude more?

    1. David:
      The “How to Pronounce” dude made me laugh. All set up for audio and then does video. I noticed a few other videos, but the gray thing he was wearing was STILL a T-shirt in those shots. What do you suppose happened?

  6. We have a paella pan and Carlos will occasionally make it, but it can be a very long drawn out ordeal,I try to get him to go simpler, but for Carlos “more is better.”

  7. Well, it is the King’s English, not Spanish. These people also say oreGAHno and such 🙂 They add extra ‘u’s to perfectly ‘u’less words like color and humor, for crying out loud! It really doesn’t bother me, I just like pulling Steve’s leg (Canadians are just as bad with those ‘u’s). Being from San Diego, it does bite my liver to hear Spanish words pronounced wrong. People asking for directions to El Cajon as Cajun or Cajohn, and don’t get me started on La Jolla 🙂
    Pie ela sounds like a character from Li’l Abner! As for the actual dish, it isn’t something that appeals to me. It’s the texture of the rice I suppose. It looks pretty though.

    1. Deedles:
      You’re right about the Li’l Abner character name. Again, so clever. I was appalled when I went in search of audio for how to pronounce paella and found so many that said “how to pronounce paella in British English.” It strikes me as idiotic. Oh, yeah, before we moved to San Diego I had a good friend who lived on El Cajun Boulevard! ¡Qué cojones!

  8. Now you have me hankering for some paella, you wicked (not wicked bad) man! I made fried okra last night to snack on while we had a multiparty video call party for my sister’s birthday. Other snacks were kale chips made from kale that my grand nephew scored by climbing over a fence to raid the school’s now abandoned garden, 2 kinds of cake, and a fine assortment of adult beverages. A good time was had by all.

    1. Wilma:
      That does sound like a good time. I’ve never had kale or okra chips. I had beet chips and loved them, which shocked me, considering how much I loathe (with a passion) beet root.

  9. I found the second video absolutely not in the least bit helpful. He should have been standing in the room, with ladies present…and naked of course. But that dish looks delicious. And I mean the actual paella.

    Yes, I can be wicked sick.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Why should there have been ladies present? Or is that as in all kinds of ladies? Don’t forget Step 13.

  10. I’ve always pronounced it wrong apparently like pieyaya not paAa like the recording. That shall change. It does look yummy though, lucky SG has to now perfect it! You get to be his guinea pig

    1. Cheapchick:
      I love being SG’s guinea pig! As for the pronunciation of paella, now you know.

  11. I’ve always pronounced it the way they do in the video. How do British people pronounce it? I don’t even know!

    1. Steve:
      Pie Ella! (like apple pie and the name “Ella”) And the videos teach it that way.

  12. Well it looks like we got a good 8 months of this virus thingy with self isolation coming our way. So cooking is a big thing and Will and I have been busy doing it since we do not have the choice to go out now, everything is closed. About Paella pronounciation, I know the English always mispronounce everything and the French simply invent a new word instead of trying to pronounce it in the original language. We have our neighbour who has a giant paella plate fuelled with gas and he will be able to make one for 30 people, its lots of fun and we have loads of fresh seafood here. But alas this Summer nope nothing. We will sit at home and think of better times. Keep smiling and be well. Hope Chuck is also well in NYC.

    1. Laurent:
      This is going to be a long haul. And, thanks, Chuck is doing fine… and still working. He’s being very careful; he’s a good rule follower. I love your comparison of British and French pronunciation of foreign words. So true! I think it makes more sense to simply invent a new word if you’re not going to show any respect for the original.

  13. I make paella often here in Perth, where we have wonderful seafood. I’m glad to read an authentic Spanish recipe. I don’t use saffron as its too expensive, but turmeric is a good substitute. I buy a pack of fish stock for the broth. As I don’t have a proper paella pan (and I don’t want to watch it for burning), I put it into a very hot oven for 5 to 10 minutes at the end.

    1. Margaret:
      I’ll bet putting it in the oven finishes it beautifully. For me at least, the best paella isn’t wet when it’s served. I never knew anything about saffron. I remember looking for it with SG in one of our public markets in Sevilla. I was shocked by the price, so i read about it when we got home. It takes some 75,000 saffron flowers to make just one pound of spice. No wonder!

  14. The outdoor markets are closed here now, but most of the bigger ones will always have a stand where people are making and selling paella “to go.” At least the French market version, which I’m sure would not be considered up to the standards of the Andalucian version.

  15. “Wicked” ! I remember hearing that when I first visited Boston.
    As for Paella I would sell my grandmother for such – your grandmother anyway.

    1. Urspo:
      My grandmother was very tiny, but I suppose she could have been swapped for a pan of paella. Did you ever hear the phrase “shit-can it” when you were in Boston. The first time I heard it used was when I was having lunch with a friend who worked at Shreve, Crump, & Lowe (SO Boston). She was late and said, “I’d betta shit-can it fawh Shreves.”

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