Call that a paella? Just because it’s got some rice and is cooked in a big, flat pan, doesn’t mean it’s the real deal. After years of controversy the dish has been pinned down and many of the ingredients you think might belong – fish, shellfish, chorizo – do not. They are not part, social scientists at the Universidad Católica de Valencia, have shown, of the traditional Valencian recipe. Having surveyed 400 amateur chefs, aged over 50, from 266 Valencian villages, they found, the following key ingredients were permitted: rice, water, olive oil, salt, saffron (or food colouring), tomato, flat green beans, lima beans, chicken and rabbit. Notice anything missing?

What, no prawns?

Not if you want to call it a Valencian paella.

What about giant prawns in their shells and laid on top of the rice like an enormous garnish? That always looks authentic.

Not even them. Not giant mussels either. Strictly no shellfish at all. And while we’re on the subject, no fish of any variety.

Is this because of Jamie Oliver? I know that a few years ago he caused a stink when he added chorizo...

Certainly his chicken and chorizo paella recipe, posted in 2016, didn’t go down well with purists. The anger was palpable. Replies included “Remove the chorizo. We don’t negotiate with terrorists. First warning.” Nor did the invention of a robotic paella maker. Then, last year, the government of Valencia, the birthplace of the dish, gave it protected status, publishing an eight-page announcement declaring the dish an item of cultural significance. “Paella,” it said, “is an icon of the Mediterranean diet, because of both its ingredients and its characteristics as a representation of Valencian culture.”

What prompted the research?

A local restaurant owner was keen to pin the recipe down and triggered a two-year project led by anthropologist Pablo Vidal-González. It speaks volumes about the tensions involved that an event at which the results of the research were presented was titled A Nightmare Global Discussion: What Are The Ingredients of Paella Valenciana? A local journalist wrote in 2014: “The classic Valencian recipe undergoes a brutal mutation when it falls into the hands of others.”

Oh dear. What if I break the rules?

Fine, that’s your choice. Just don’t call it Valencian.

Researcher, Vidal Gonzalez has actually said that there is no definitive paella, the best recipe being “the one your grandmother did”. Scottish grandmothers, of course, don’t count – only Valencians. And ideally they should have lived at the same address for 20 years.