A couple of years ago, the famous British chef Jamie Oliver attracted a lot of attention because of a post on Twitter where he revisited one of the most renowned Spanish dishes: paella.
He suggested to add a twist to the traditional recipe using chorizo. His proposal attracted all sorts of comments, mostly negative. He was accused of outraging the (culinary) history of Spain; he was insulted and even threatened.
We hail Jamie Oliver for managing to have Spanish people putting their political divisions aside for a while with the simple suggestion of adding a new ingredient to paella.
On the other hand, he is just one of many chefs who dared changing classic recipes, bringing innovation in cooking. And he’s one of few who managed to obtain a lot of free publicity through social-media critics. In Italy something similar took place a year before, when two-Michelin-stars chef Carlo Cracco suggested to use onions instead of garlic in one of the most traditional Italian dishes; the Amatriciana. “Cooking is free will” he added.
The number of people who felt outraged by his revised recipe – spanning from culinary experts to football fans, from plumbers to politicians – added to the tens of thousands. The “incident”, named Amatriciana-gate, also caused some pacific street protests and brought elder housewives to open social media accounts to air their indignation. Well, we love Italian and Spanish people attachment to – and attentive care for- their culinary traditions.