As a young boy, the idea of meat and fish together in one dish never made sense to me. But once I tried paella the combination of textures and smoky flavours completely won me over. It's one harmonious, exciting, stomach-pleasing smasher of a dish. Some locals will say you don't add chorizo, but because I love it, I'm adding it here. You can pick up a proper paella pan at most department stores, but a large shallow pan about 12 inches/30 cm across will also work a treat. Without question this is one of Spain's hero dishes. Although incredibly flexible and delicious, it was never intended to be as visual and flamboyant a dish as it is. It was invented by farmers, grabbing whatever bits of meat, vegetable and fish they had available to them and using rice to bring it all together. Over time it's been refined and claimed by all sorts of people around Spain as their own. That's the great thing about paella, you can make it your own by taking the principle of it and adjusting it to embrace whatever ingredients are in season and around you.