Say it ain’t Socarrat! | Chicago Tapas Restaurant
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Say it ain’t Socarrat!

Say it ain’t Socarrat!

The time is nigh and the day of reckoning for Chicago’s top culinary minds has come to Mercat once again. The 3rd annual paella cook off approaches and only one chef will win the honors of representing Spain’s renowned Paella better than all the rest!!

If you aren’t familiar with paella, we’ll forgive you, but be warned: once you go paella, you never go back. Paella is remarkable in that it is a dish for bringing people together, it’s enjoyable in the throws of August heat or the bone-biting freeze of winter. Paella is delightful, but it’s not always easy to create. Enter: socarrat.

The socarrat in paella is one of the most important keys for fabulous flavor. The socarrat is the crusty crispy bottom of the paella that becomes caramelized and toasted on the bottom of the pan when it is cooking. It’s a delicate balance between burning the rice and toasting each grain’s natural sugars.

As per all of the goodies inside of a paella- that’s up to you! While chicken, rabbit and saffron have arguable claim to the “original” paella, part of the dish’s intrigue is its adaptability to tinkering and ingredient locality.

When Mercat talks about Paella we talk about seasonality and we talk socarrat. A paella isn’t a paella without the perfect cooking technique. What better way to express Chicago’s love of Spanish cuisine than to invite the city’s best chefs for a friendly throw down and for tasting countless interpretations of a very versatile dish?

On August 25th, Mercat hosts its 3rd annual paella cook off. A new line-up of chef’s, an acclaimed judging panel, Chicago’s biggest foodies, and more paella than your happy belly will know what to do with. So, join us at Mercat’s 2016 paella show down that will hopefully inspire a paella of your own.