Probably one of the most significant ingredients of all. Not only are they supremely good and highly prized in their own right, they are also very effective in enhancing the flavour of other ingredients.

From my studies of 18th-century cooking in England I know that a barrel of anchovies was indispensable in many kitchens to enliven all sorts of recipes. ‘But I don’t like anchovies,’ some of you are thinking. True, they are strong and gutsy – an acquired taste, you say – but they do grow on you.

So keep trying a little here and a little there until you acquire it, and don’t forget that most people who say they don’t like anchovies do like Worcestershire sauce, in which anchovies are the main ingredient.

Anchovy essence
This is also a great flavour-enhancer and is the British equivalent of the fish sauce of the Far East. As such, it can be used in oriental recipes when fish sauce is not available.

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