Comedian Rob Schneider decided to make paella, and got himself into a paella pan of hot water thanks to the culinary-correctness police.
For it seems that if you don’t make paella just right—that is, according to Spanish chefs’ notion of auténtico—you’ve committed the crime of “cultural appropriation.” Cultural appropriation means eating a taco at Taco Bell instead of at a restaurant owned by genuine Mexicans—or, if you happen to be white, eating a taco, period. As Everyday Feminist puts it:
“While food can connect people together and also serve as a way to learn about cultures other than our own, what happens is that food becomes the only identifier for certain places. Japan reduced to ramen and sushi, Mexico reduced to tacos and burritos, India reduced to curry, and so on.”
So poor Rob Schneider committed a no-no when he tweeted a photo of his family’s Spanish-themed Christmas Eve dinner just before it went into the oven, plus these words: “We just put the Paella in the oven!! Que rico!!”…
The tweets from the outraged chefs in Spain went like this: “[S]top making ‘rice with whatever'” and “Your paella is an abomination.”