M&S slammed by Spanish shoppers for selling Chorizo Paella Croquetas

M&S accused of cultural appropriation by Spanish shoppers for selling Chorizo Paella Croquetas (and even the British ambassador is getting involved)

  • The £5.50 side dish was added to M&S’ ‘Master Deli’ range in August 
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Marks and Spencer has enraged Spanish shoppers for selling Chorizo Paella Croquetas – with critics saying ‘wars have been declared for less’.

The product was added to the M&S ‘Master Deli’ range in August, alongside Mini Chorizo sausages with honey glaze, a ready-made Spanish Gazpacho and Smoky Chicken and Chorizo Empanadas.

However, it’s the £5.50 ‘croquetas’ – containing paella rice, chorizo, saffron and bechamel sauce – which have sparked a backlash among shoppers this month.

Traditionally, croquetas are made up of minced meat or fish and bechamel sauce – and X users argued that M&S’ side dish could be more accurately described as arancini, which contain rice and are coated in breadcrumbs.

After spotting them in their local store, an outraged shopper sent a photo to Madrid-based writer Simon Hunter – who went viral on X, formerly known as Twitter, for his playful take on a ‘Spanish tortilla’ containing frankfurter sausages in April.

The £5.50 side dish (pictured) was added to M&S’ ‘Master Deli’ range in August – but X users argued that the croquetas could be more accurately described as arancini

Inviting his 6,400 followers to pass comment, Simon shared the photo and wrote: ‘NO NO NO.’ 

Since it was posted last week, the image has amassed over 50,700 views – and sparked some heated debate among X users. 

One Spanish user wrote: ‘We should retaliate by selling fish and chips soaked in tea or something of the sort Any ideas?’

In response, another Spaniard added: ‘Lemon curd with cucumber sandwich crumbs.’ 

‘Wrong on every level,’ a third wrote. ‘Just call them arancini with chorittzzo.’ 

A fourth replied: ‘For less, wars were declared in the past.’ 

‘Jesus,’ a fifth said. ‘Is NOTHING sacred?’ 

Meanwhile, another joked: ‘”Handmade in Spain?” With armed bodyguards I would imagine.’ 

Even the British ambassador for Spain got involved in the debate – and labelled the dish ‘wrong on every level’

What’s more, the post even caught the attention of Hugh Elliott – the British ambassador to Spain and Andorra.

Describing the dish was ‘wrong on every level’, he added: ‘Chorizo, yes! Paella, yes!

‘Croquetas, yes! All together? … M&S, what have you done?’

However, he later added: ‘Perhaps I am just hungry but shall we sample them? I have yet to try something from the M&S Foodhall that I don’t love… who knows, maybe we’ll have to eat our words as well?’ 

Speaking to The Telegraph, Spanish chef Omar Allibhoy said the idea for the croquetas was ‘bang on the money’ but ‘not authentic’.

He explained: ‘Where the confusion comes is that paella is lost in translation – in Valencia, where paella comes from, they only call one single dish paella which has rabbit, chicken, runner beans, artichokes and snails.

‘Everything else is called arroz – which means rice. In the rest of Spain, that doesn’t apply and we will call it paella if it’s cooked in a paella pan. Ultimately taste, texture, flavour, enjoyment and convenience will speak for itself – let the public be the judge.’ 

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