By Mike Pomranz
Updated September 09, 2015

Turns out British people are really purists when it comes to their… spaghetti bolognese? The Italian dish has caused a bit of an uproar in the UK after the country’s second largest grocery chain, Sainsbury’s, put out an advert suggesting people could “twist your spag bol” by adding instant coffee.

Major British publications like the Metro and Evening Standardfound their countrymen’s mix of disdain, confusion and intrigue at the idea newsworthy, collecting opinions as diverse as those who called mixing instant coffee into a spaghetti sauce “the devil’s work” to those who say “that actually sounds amazing.”

Despite the reaction, Sainsbury’s stands by their slightly unconventional recipe. “It may sound unlikely but it really works, I promise you, having sampled it myself,” Cath Wilkins, Sainsbury’s head of consumer PR for food, told BuzzFeed. “The coffee adds a underlying depth of flavor that helps to balance the sweetness of the tomato-based ragu. Rather like adding chocolate to chilli con carne, which is another of our recommended twists—although that one is a little better known.”

Part of the confusion is that the grocer’s recipe for adding instant coffee to a Bolognese sauce isn’t particularly detailed. It was included in an article entitled “6 flavorsome twists on the classic spag bol” (a collaboration between Sainsbury’s and The Huffington Post UK) where home chefs were told to “add a teaspoon of instant coffee to some stock and then pour into the sauce” because it “adds more of a depth of flavor than a strong coffee taste.”

The article also states, “Give it a try before you dismiss it!” Apparently the Brits are better at spewing opinions about Italian food than they are at following suggestions in their own English language.

[h/t Tech Insider]