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British ambassador to Spain leads backlash to M&S dish ‘like fish and chips soaked in tea’

The British ambassador to Spain has led the harsh criticism of Marks and Spencer’s ‘Spanish’ croquetas after the dish was rejected by Spaniards.

The supermarket chain has sparked controversy over its chorizo paella croquetas, which they say are “handmade in Spain” complete with saffron and a bechamel sauce.

The dish is available to buy on Ocado for £5.50, making them worth just over 90p a piece.

Hugh Elliot, the British ambassador to Spain, responded to a post on X about the product writing: “Chorizo, yes! Paella, yes! Croquetas, yes! Yes! All together? …. M&S, what have you done?”

In an X post that has been viewed over 50,000 times, a Madrid based Britishman shared a picture of the snack captioned “NO NO NO”.

Spaniards retaliated to the food, calling for a boycott of M&S and suggesting the fusion dish could cause a “diplomatic conflict”.

Another suggested Spain should retaliate by selling “fish and chips soaked in tea”.

Croquettes originate from France and are also made in Spain with bechamel sauce, rolled in breadcrumbs then filled with the likes of serrano ham - but not with paella.

Phil Dickinson, a Spanish interpreter for football clubs, wrote: “Wrong on every level. Just call them arancini with chorittzzo.”

Paella is a traditional Spanish rice dish, traditionally made with chicken, rabbit and snails. The dish was also embroiled in a British controversy back in 2016, when Jamie Oliver popularised adding chorizo to the meal.

Another social media user responded to the M&S debate writing: “I did a Paella Cooking Course in Valencia, and just to wind the chef up, I said “can you put Chorizo in paella?””

“It really did wind him up, and he said NEVER! Reason: the strong taste of Chorizo ruins the whole dish. He then said “ You can blame Jamie Oliver for that!”.”

Despite the culture war that has ensued, Mr Elliot later said he would be willing to sample the snacks.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, he wrote: “I have yet to try something from M&S Foodhall that I don’t love…who knows, maybe we’ll have to eat our words as well ??”