The Scotch Egg.
A slightly runny egg wrapped in sausage meat, covered in bread crumbs and then deep fried – you’d think there’s nothing particularly interesting about this ‘brown food’ but that is where you’re wrong! The History of the humble Scotch Egg is an interesting one indeed…
Unapologetically British, it has been a part of picnic baskets and a trusty pub snack for over 150 years. More recently though Scotch Eggs are enjoying a resurgence and getting a bit of a makeover. Chefs are experimenting with all manner of fillings from chorizo to venison, creating vegan twists and going posh with quail eggs. Scotch Eggs aren’t just for the Tesco chilled aisle anymore, these crafted handmade beauties are popping up everywhere from delis and pubs, to top restaurants up and down the country.
So where did the Scotch Egg come from? General reading reveals there seems to be a North-South debate over who takes the credit.
One of my favourite food stores – Fortnum and Masons – claim to have invented the patriotic snack in 1851. Others believe it hails from Whitby, Yorkshire and was invented by William J Scott & Sons. The ‘Scotties’ were covered in a creamy fish paste rather than sausage meat…I’m glad it’s moved on since then!
There’s also the possibility that the Scotch Egg could be Indian, inspired by the British Raj and the Mughlai dish ‘nargisi kofta’. Which is an egg wrapped in spicy minced meat (sounds amazing!). Whatever its origins, the Scotch Egg is now a firmly established British classic, with regional takes including the Mancunian Pickled Egg, Lancashire Black Pudding Egg and a Worcester Egg which has an egg pickled in Worcestershire Sauce.
If reading this has given you a craving for a Scotch Egg don’t buy from the supermarkets! Buy fresh and for the best in the country head to Shoreditch’s, The Smoking Goat. This Thai restaurant has won the annual Young’s Scotch Egg Challenge two years in a row! Made from minced pork and offal lab, this exotic take shows just how exciting the humble Scotch Egg can be.
Perhaps the biggest question though when it comes to the Scotch Egg is how do you eat yours? Hot? Or cold?
Photo Credit: Susan Bolam
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