Mini scotch eggs, savory eggs, picnic eggs, party eggs, snack eggs, egg bites
This popular British dish is a beloved picnic food in the United Kingdom. Some say it was influenced by a Mughlai dish called “nargisi kofta” which means “Narcissus meatballs.” In 1738, Fortnum & Mason, a London department store, created the Scotch eggs as they are known today. The first known printed recipe for Scotch eggs can be found in Maria Rundell’s 1809 edition of A New System of Domestic Cookery.
In this edition of the recipe, as well as from following recipes in the 19th century, they were served hot with gravy. However, many people today enjoy them cold as a snack with pickles and salad, ideal for picnics and lunches. They are widely available in supermarkets, corner stores, and service stations along the roads.
Smaller version exist using quail eggs or chopped eggs to make more of a snack bite. Other versions contain chopped up bacon and can be mixed with mayonnaise. In Manchester, they use a pickled egg surrounded by a mixture of pork meat with Lancashire black pudding. In Worcester, they use an egg that has been pickled in Worcestershire sauce, wrapped in a mixture of local sausage meat with white pudding.
The popularity of this food is not just limited to England. In the Netherlands and Belgium, you can find them as “vohelnestje” and in Italy, they are called “polpettone” which is an egg surrounded by meatloaf. In Hungary, they serve it hot with mashed potatoes or when cold, served with salads. The Scotch egg is also popular in Japan. There, they serve it as a delicacy for the New Year and call them “skorchi eggs.” In Nigeria, the food chain Mr. Bigg’s sells them like crazy.
In America, they are popular at British-style pubs and restaurants. Here, you’ll find them served hot with more American-style dipping sauces like ranch dressing or hot mustard sauce. The famed Minnesota State Fair serves them on a stick, and if you visit any Renaissance Festival in the southeast United States, you’re bound to find them there as well.
However you feast upon the Scotch egg, it is a delightful and flavorful treat that goes beautifully with cold beer. One taste and you’ll see why they’re so popular, and you’ll wonder why you can enjoy all your eggs this way.
Hard-boiled eggs are surrounded by sausage patty, coated with bread crumbs and baked to perfection.
Hard-boiled egg, sausage and bread crumbs.