I ordered a last minute addition to our bike touring cook kit — a paella pan. We were inspired by our friend Chris who toured through Spain and returned with several paella pans. It is perhaps a little unorthodox and not so Spartan as some bicycle touring guides would have you pack, but hey, my other site is Epicurean Cyclist after all!

We’ll be traveling for several months and during that time we anticipate cooking A LOT — primarily to save money, but also for the fun of sampling local farmers markets.

A paella pan, for the uninitiated, is a pan made to cook a Spanish rice dish called paella that can contain chicken, sausages, pork, mussells, squid, shrimp, etc., Everything gets cooked together in a specific order to maximize the flavors and create a slight toasted rice bottom. They come in various sizes from pans that are meant to serve one person to ones that serve 200! We bought a 28cm pan that is just the right size for Laura and I.

Despite being called a paella pan, it can be used as a general purpose fry pan. You can make eggs and bacon on it, corned beef and hash or a stir fry. It really is a versatile piece of equipment that expands our cooking options.

Most of my friends know I have an obsessive personality. I’ve cooked paella (with varying ingredients) three times this week already : ) Tonight was my most successful. I had the right sausages, mussels and shrimp. I’ve fine tuned how much broth to use to cook the rice and how long to let the pan sit on the heat to properly toast the rice.

Purchased just a few days ago, it’s already developing a nice seasoned patina. We’re looking forward to using it on our trip to cook up the varied foods we’ll encounter while on the road!