By Jennifer Popplewell •
Updated: 28 Nov 2023 • 17:19
A crime against cuisine
AH the land of Spain. Relaxed and stress free. Every problem can wait until ‘mañana’, and life moves at a calm and peaceful pace.
However, if there is one thing that the Spanish take very seriously, it is their famous food. From the sacred tapas culture to their varied and special delicacies, this nation never disrespects its dishes. In fact, with long lunches and prolonged dinners, they honour them, and expect the rest of the world to do the same.
Unfortunately, one well known, upscale British supermarket, Marks and Spencer, have recently committed the ultimate crime against cuisine, as they have remarkably managed to offend an entire country with their newest ‘Spanish food mash up’.
The blunder in question is the release of their product, ‘Spanish Chorizo Paella Croquetas’, which have been introduced as a snack as part of the supermarkets Collection Range. Paella is one of the most famous meals that many people associate with Spain, some even recognise it as their national dish. It actually originated in Valencia and consists of saffron infused rice that originally included a mixture of chicken, rabbit and snails, with green and white beans. However, as the dish has become more popular in recent years it is also now common to find it made with seafood, chorizo or vegetables.
Croquettes, or as the Spanish call them ‘croquetas’ are originally a traditional French dish, consisting of deep fried mini rolls of potatoes and bechamel sauce. However for many years now they have also been cooked all around Spain by gourmet chefs and ‘abuelas’ alike, using Serrano ham, among other fillings.
Marks and Spencer made the interesting decision to combine these two dishes, a move that has now resulted in a huge backlash from many Spanish food lovers, including the British ambassador to Spain and Andorra, Hugh Elliott, who described the new snack as “wrong on every level”, dramatically adding “M&S, what have you done?”
Phil Dickinson, a Spanish interpreter for football clubs, also firmly stated that they were “wrong on every level” and Simon Hunter, a contributor to the The Times who is based in Madrid, posted a picture of the product on the social platform X, with the caption “NO NO NO”, which has since gathered more than 30,000 views.
Euro Weekly News spoke to Miguel Angel Liñan Carabantes, a proud Spaniard from Marbella and lover of his home country’s cuisine. He stated that it was “typical of the British to ruin every food dish they touch”. Ouch.
However, all hope is not lost for M&S, as Omar Allibhoy, a Spanish celebrity chef and the founder of Tapas Revolution, a restaurant chain, said that despite the product being “not authentic”, he still supported it. Adding that, “the concept is not revolutionary but definitely clever.”
The final nail in this cooked up coffin is that the product proudly declares on its packaging that it is “handmade in Spain”, leaving many Spaniards with their heads in their hands.
The saying does go that you ‘can’t please everyone’, but perhaps the supermarket chain did not quite expect this level of outcry.
Will you be trying this controversial snack?
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Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.
30 plus years in Spain, eaten with numerous Spanish families and never had palla that includes chorizo.
First time I saw palla con chorizo was the food mishandler, Jamie Oliver. No
Lets be honest, most Spanish food is not that great. I truly believe it to highly overated and I genuinely mean that. So I will try the M&S dish because it cannot be worse than I get in some local restuarants around the Orihuela Costa
Spanish food IS GREAT. M&S have no right to say these croquettes are made in Spain. And what a mixture of food and with chorizo?? The British seem to like taking over another country’s popular dish and changing it to something else. Shame on you.
No No No!
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