The Spanish Insulted By Marks & Spencer
If there is one thing that the Spanish take very seriously, it is their famous food. This nation never disrespects its dishes, from the sacred tapas culture to their varied and unique delicacies. 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, has 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 has been introduced as a snack in the supermarket’s Collection Range. Paella is one of the most famous dishes many people associate with Spain; some even recognise it as their national dish. It originated in Valencia and consisted of saffron-infused rice, which initially included a mixture of chicken, rabbit and snails, and green and white beans. However, as the dish has become more prevalent in recent years, it is expected to find it made with seafood, chorizo or vegetables.
Croquettes, or as the Spanish call them ‘croquetas’, are initially a traditional French dish consisting of deep-fried mini rolls of potatoes and bechamel sauce. However, for many years, 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 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.
Global247news understands, 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 goes that you ‘can’t please everyone’, but perhaps the supermarket chain did not reasonably expect this level of outcry.