2 Apr, 2023 @ 12:45
1 min read

Did this Olive Press reporter just pull off the best April Fool’s prank on Spanish Twitter ever?

Simon Hunter's 'Spanish tortilla'
Simon Hunter

AS JAMIE Oliver found out when he put chorizo in paella, or The Times journalist Chris Haslam when he wrote a tongue-in-cheek column about how to be Spanish, Twitter users from Spain can easily be provoked. 

Armed with that knowledge on Saturday morning, as I was recycling my son’s leftover dinner into a pretty disgusting-looking omelette, containing peas, sausages and chunks of cheese, I thought I would take my life into my hands and use the image of the breakfast as part of an April Fool’s joke. 

‘Made a lovely Spanish tortilla this morning, yum,’ was the text that I wrote to accompany it. 

As I hit ‘publish’, I had the feeling that I was lighting a blue touchpaper and that it was time to stand well back.

Some 24 hours later and the tweet had racked up more than 812,000 views and 1,200 comments. 

Despite a retweet at 12pm by me to make clear this was an April Fool, many Spaniards entirely missed the joke – El día de los inocentes, the equivalent in Spain, is of course on December 28.

The comments ranged from people insisting I be deported, accusations that I was ‘a terrorist’, and that my Spanish residency had been cancelled. 

Many were kind enough to point out exactly what the real ingredients of a Spanish tortilla are: olive oil, eggs, potatoes, onion and salt (the inclusion of onion is, admittedly, controversial, but that is an article for another day).

The tweet was shared by British concert pianist and Madrid resident James Rhodes (who got the joke… I think) and even made it into the Spanish edition of the Huffington Post


There were also hundreds of insults, but I took them all in good humour. As one Twitter user pointed out, there are some things you don’t joke about with Spaniards…

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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