Many tripe sellers were caught unawares after TV chef Rick Stein mentioned tripe during his programme charting a road trip from Venice to Istanbul. The TMB website received over 20 'hits' after the show aired on Friday, and stockists as far apart as Wigan and Blackburn reported brisk sales.
The following day, the Rev Richard Coles, presenter of the popular BBC Radio 4 show Saturday Live, tweeted that "Tripe is the food of the gods", while respected restaurant critic Jay
Rayner eulogised about various kinds of offal - including tripe - which he came across in Rome during a recent visit.
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle blamed the barrage of coverage on an over-zealous marketing intern who had been hired to cover the office during the TMB's recent fact-finding visit to Greece. "Whilst recognising the achievements of the individual concerned, it might have been better if they had tipped off our retailers, so they could have been prepared for the queues of people whose interest in tripe had been piqued," he said.
Sir Norman said that he understood that the person responsible had since been poached by another marketing board. "We'll be reviewing this incident and I can promise you we will learn the lessons," he said.