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With its centuries of tradition and many ingredients, paella can seem even more daunting than trying to find space in the kitchen for an 18-inch pan. But paella actually straightforward enough to cook at home. In fact, in Valencia, Spain (the birthplace of paella), the dish is most often made and served at home as a weekly communal lunch for friends and family.

Like most cherished traditional dishes, paella (also known as paella valenciana) is surrounded by debate regarding how to make it, where it’s from, and what it even is. However, there are a few things we know for sure.