Oliver angers Spaniards with 'insulting' paella recipe

Jamie Oliver isn't too popular in Spain at the moment.
Jamie Oliver isn't too popular in Spain at the moment.

Jamie Oliver has inadvertently angered hundreds of people - most of them Spanish - by posting a link to a unorthodox paella recipe on his Twitter account.

"Good Spanish food doesn't get much better than paella," the innocuous-seeming tweet read. "My version combines chicken thighs & chorizo."

It included a link to a web page hosting the full recipe.

The tweet prompted immediate outrage. Furious replies came thick and fast: "Come to Valencia to try the real paella and stop making 'rice with whatever'" wrote Spanish journalist Vicent Marco. "Your dish is everything but paella."

Other critics were less restrained. "Your paella is an abomination," wrote one.

"An insult not only to our gastronomy but to our culture," said another. There were many, many more.

The biggest problem with the recipe, it transpired, was the inclusion of chorizo, a major no-no. The Spanish take their paella extremely seriously, and traditionalists are demonstrably quick to anger when an outsider tries to improve on their dish.

Remarkably, the British food guru has prior form when it comes to causing offence through rice. In 2014 he tweeted a recipe for Jollof rice that sparked similar levels of anger among West Africans, and scandal christened #JollofGate.

This paella brouhaha is the third time this year Jamie's come in for severe flak on social media. In March he posted a triumphant message after the sugar tax he'd suggested made its away into then Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne's budget.

"A profound move that will ripple around the world," he wrote on Instagram. "Business can not come between our Kids health !! Our kids health comes first."

Scores of people then set about highlighting the high sugar content of many of his recipes and accusing him of hypocrisy.

Later that month he prompted anger when, during an interview on LBC, he extolled the benefits of breastfeeding, saying: "We have the worst breastfeeding in the world. If you breastfeed for more than six months, women are 50 per cent less likely to get breast cancer. When do you ever hear that? Never."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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