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Online Trends

Published October 6th 2016

Data Reveals Spain’s Brilliantly Angry Reaction to Jamie Oliver’s Paella

The Brandwatch React team examines English and Spanish speaking mentions of paella with chorizo as Jamie Oliver's paella recipe stirs anger in Spain.

Social is on fire in Spain. Why are we so angry?

Is it the delicate political situation? The fact we don’t have a government at the moment?

No, it’s even worse. It’s Jamie Oliver’s paella recipe that the clueless chef tweeted about yesterday… Paella with chorizo.

The response online was swift as thousands of paella “purists” pointed out that traditional paella does not contain chorizo. No, Jamie, no.

The data behind the anger

The Brandwatch React team decided to investigate the data behind the furore surrounding Jamie Oliver’s paella. If you’re a Spanish speaker you can enjoy it en español here.

The first question was clear: Were people talking about paella with chorizo before the uproar or we should thank Jamie Oliver for bringing it to our attention?

A quick search shows that the mentions of paella with chorizo soared yesterday – we found almost 4,000 entries in English and Spanish in just one day. It wasn’t exactly popular before…


To be fair to the British chef, he wasn’t the first one to talk about paella with chorizo. We found a few examples.


One person even dared to call her prawn and chorizo paella recipe “healthy”

If Jamie had listened to the Spanish audience on social it’s likely #paellagate would have never happened.


“…you never put ketchup on a Chicago hot dog, that would be like putting chorizo in a paella…”

A plate-load of anger

When we looked at sentiment-categorized mentions of the debacle there wasn’t much sympathy for the chef – we found 83% were negative.


People were turning on Jamie fast, using fellow British chef Gordon Ramsay against him.

The Spanish people were clear. No negotiating. Delete the recipe or get rid of the chorizo.

Not everyone was angry. In fact, one tweeter bought up the controversial topic of pineapple on pizza to really stir the pot.

I don’t know what all the fuss is over @jamieoliver for adding chorizo to the paella. If you add pineapple to pizza and no one kills you.. #Paellagate

Others stepped in to defend the recipe.

The #paellagate phenomenon acquired such a huge amount of momentum that the international media got involved in a big way. The Guardian, Daily Mail and The Times, among others, echoed the news.

It wasn’t just the Spanish and British discussing the scandal, either. The story reached as far as Australia.


And yet the worst is yet to come.


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