Paella's Ode to Jesus - Rice in a Cross

With unemployment soaring in Spain to nearly 15%, the 'jobless' have time to ponder spiritual things, especially the extent to which these spiritual things affect the greatest of life's loves: 'La Paella.'

(El Greco)

There is only one way to truly honor Jesus in our lives, and it is not to keep his commandments, nor honor his sacrifice, nor study his teachings. Rather, it is to pour your rice in a cross when making a Paella. Now, while I have seen great Paella chefs pour the rice erratically throughout the pan, such an exhibition has been the exception rather than rule. The great majority of Paella experts all agree: the rice is to be poured in the shape of a cross (please cross yourself now).

However, in a nation that is as Atheist as it is Catholic, I quickly came to realize that such a blessed act is as much a matter of functionality as it is a spiritual ordinance. How so? Pouring the rice into the Paella pan in a cross allows you to 'eye' the perfect amount of rice to be included. On the other hand, if you 'baptize' the rice into the Paella pan with no rhyme or reason, you can lose track of how much you have dumped in. But the form of the cross offers a functional, albeit religious, visual aid.

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