Blumenthal's anchovy effect

Chef Heston Blumenthal. Photo / Supplied
Chef Heston Blumenthal. Photo / Supplied

Most Sunday roasts have been cooked roughly the same way for generations.

But this Easter there will be rather a lot of lamb joints studded with achovies at the family dinner table.

The meal has been given a distinctive, fishy twist by chef Heston Blumenthal, triggering a UK rush for supplies of the tiny salty fish which have previously catered to a niche market.

Sales of anchovies have soared five-fold after the recipe, which Blumenthal first saw as a child, was the focus of an advertising campaign for Waitrose in the UK.

John Vine, grocery buyer for the chain, said: 'Sales are up 400 per cent week-on-week. The lamb is studded with anchovies to bring out the very best in the meat.' The sales boom revives memories of the 'Delia Smith effect' when the former Waitrose figurehead pushed up demand by using unlikely or obscure ingredients.

In his advert, Blumenthal, depicted as a ginger-haired teenager, is transfixed by a sizzling pan of lamb in a restaurant in France. He promises viewers that 'the little tiddlers enhance the flavour' by melting away in the oven to leave a delicate tang.

The tinned fish has long been blended with meat in Mediterranean cooking.

- Daily Mail

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