|Carp is hugely popular in Hungary and Poland, where its eaten on Christmas eve|
The fish is often considered to taste muddy but is hugely popular in Hungary and Poland, where it is traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve.
Waitrose says sales of carp are up 50 per cent on last year, as Eastern Europeans search for a taste of home during the festive period.
Joanna Pietrzykowska, 22 an au pair living in Islington, north London, said: "It's not as nice as salmon. But we have to have carp every year otherwise it isn't Christmas."
Her family eat it as the culmination of the traditional 12-course, meat-free feast on Christmas Eve. It is invariably served cold, covered in aspic.
Jeremy Langley, a fish buyer for Waitrose, predicts that it could become a more mainstream addition to shopping baskets over the next decade.