Ambassador to Spain wades into 'cultural appropriation' row over M&S ‘Spanish’ croquettes that are filled with paella

28 November 2023, 10:06

The ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliot, has waded into the row
The ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliot, has waded into the row. Picture: Getty/Alamy
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The UK ambassador to Spain has waded into a 'cultural appropriation' row after Marks & Spencer introduced paella-filled 'Spanish croquettes' in its food halls.

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The British food chain has introduced 'Spanish chorizo paella croquetas' that have been 'handmade in Spain' to its stores.

Paella is Spain's national dish, having originated in Valencia, though croquettes are traditionally considered to be French.

A row broke out after Spanish journalist, Simon Hunter, posted a picture of the new M&S dish with the caption: "NO! NO! NO!".

One Spaniard replied: "Let us call for consultation the ambassador of the country whose inhabitant has committed such ignominy. Right now."

After Hunter said he would "page" Hugh Elliot, the UK ambassador to Spain immediately replied.

He said: Chorizo, ¡si! (yes) Paella, ¡si! (yes) Croquetas, ¡si! ¡si! (yes) ¿Todo junto? (all together?)...M&S, what have you done?"

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The product has continued to spark debate online, with one Spaniard even going as far as plotting 'revenge'.

"We should retaliate selling fish and chips soaked in tea or something of the sort. Any ideas?" he said.

UK ambassador to spain, Hugh Elliot
UK ambassador to spain, Hugh Elliot. Picture: Alamy
Croquettes are traditionally considered to be French
Croquettes are traditionally considered to be French. Picture: Getty
Paella is Spain's natural dish
Paella is Spain's natural dish. Picture: Getty

"This sounds wrong on so many levels," another said.

"How horrible! This is not Spanish food, it is Martian food," a fourth added.

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