The Scotch Egg Story

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Scotch egg consists of a shelled hard-boiled egg, wrapped in a sausage meat mixture, coated in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried. Scotch eggs are commonly eaten cold, typically with salad and pickles.

From the Telegraph (Feb 2011) see the rest of the article below

The Scotch egg’s origins are obscure. The exclusive London provisioner Fortnum & Mason claims it invented the portable snack for rich coach travellers in 1738. “The eggs would have been smaller in those days,’’ says the company’s archivist Dr Andrea Turner. “They would have been pullet’s eggs rather than hen’s eggs, and the meat would have been gamier, like a strong Victorian pâté.’’

She believes that the eggs then filtered down the social ranks, first becoming a Victorian savoury using cheaper meats, and finally arriving at the mass-produced egg served in the pubs, cafés and at picnics in second half of the last century.

An alternative theory, propounded by Annette Hope in her book A Caledonian Feast, claims that the Scotch egg evolved from Nargisi Kofta, an Indian dish that is also made from minced meat and a boiled egg.

Neil Chambers’s explanation seems more likely: that it was a northern variant of the Cornish pasty produced by Scottish smallholders, who would have kept chickens and pigs.

“It was a poor man’s lunch produced from leftovers that was easy to transport,’’ Neil says. Now he and his wife are transporting them around the country from £2.65 each. The company produces a score of different eggs from the classic Mac (free-range pork) to a Blackwatch (black pudding and free-range pork) to a Just William (Tyrells Crisps and free-range pork). There are vegetarian options and Wee Ones with quail’s eggs.

Other, more traditional variations of the breadcrumbed egg include the Manchester egg, which uses a pickled egg wrapped in a mixture of pork meat and black pudding, and the Worcester egg, for which the egg is pickled in Worcestershire sauce.

Meanwhile, the Scotch egg’s fame has spread abroad. “Skorchi eggs” have become a Japanese New Year delicacy and they are a best seller for the Nigerian food chain Mr Bigg’s.

The handmade Scotch egg has one disadvantage. It can’t be chilled, vacuum packed or frozen. “If you go down that route you end up with the egg and the meat shrinking away from each other and that is not an option for us,’’ Neil says. “Supermarkets are keen to stock handmade eggs, but for now the only way is through their deli counters.”


The Independent - November 25th 2006 - 50 best gifts for him


8:00AM GMT 25 Feb 2011 (well we couldn'y have put it better ourselves...)

If fast food were graded like celebrities it is safe to say that the Scotch egg would be on the C-list. Its last lowly roles, for example, were as the trademark food for Big Keith in The Office and as a butt of jokes for the fictional television presenter Alan Partridge.

The one-time picnic and cocktail party star had, like the flag-flying crust-free sandwich triangle and the cheese and pineapple hedgehog, faded into obscurity mostly thanks to the arrival of the mighty American burgers, fried chicken and pizzas.

But last month (January 2011) it was reported that the egg, hard-boiled, surrounded with sausage meat and then rolled in breadcrumbs, will once again take its rightful place as the new pièce de résistance in our pubs, restaurants and shops. The influential food magazine Olive has placed the ovum Caledoniensis at the top of its Cool List, a fistful of predictions for 2011’s foodie Zeitgeist. “The Scotch egg is the ultimate comeback snack,” says the magazine. “Look for it in increasingly radical forms.”

It is already on the menu at Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred pub The Hinds Head in Bray; broadcaster Michael Parkinson’s Royal Oak (also starred) outside Maidenhead serves them; and they are available at London’s grandest delicatessens including Mayfair’s Mount Street Deli. Moreover, the capital’s gastropubs are knee-deep in them.

Meanwhile, in deepest Herefordshire, Neil and Penny Chambers have set up the Handmade Scotch Egg Company, selling to delicatessens from the Isle of Wight to Perth in Scotland.

“A lot of the celeb chefs are doing Scotch eggs now as part of their repertoire,’’ Neil says. “Deli-wise it is making a big comeback. It is rapidly becoming Britain’s favourite snack once more.’’


  In the UK Scotch eggs are usually a picnic food and eaten cold, although once you've strayed into the hot Scotch Egg world you may find it hard to return...


January 14th 2011  

Executive chef Lee Zaleski, taste tests supermarket favourites and the best available nationwide in delis.

VEGETABULARIAN SCOTCH EGGS  "I'm no vegetarian, but if I were, this is exactly what I'd want. You can see the egg is free range and it tastes great- rating: 5 Stars

Judged along with Scotch eggs from Bowyers (2Star), Asda (4Star), Saisbury's (3star), Pork Farms (3Star), Co-Op (3Star), Lidl (1Star), Aldi (2Star), Morrisons (3Star), M&S (5Star), Gotcha (4Star)


 

In the United States, many "British-style" pubs and eateries serve fresh-made Scotch eggs. These are usually served hot, with dipping sauces such as ranch dressing, hot sauce, or hot mustard sauce. At the Minnesota State Fair, true to fair tradition, Scotch eggs are served on a stick.

In the Netherlands and Belgium, Scotch eggs may also be called vogelnestje 'little bird's nest' because they contain an egg.

This is all fine but we've not  got to the bottom of the age old question: Which came first... the chicken, the egg or the scotch?