Scotch Eggs

The word ‘Scotch’ often has nothing to do with the Scots.

Tradition has it that things and people from Scotland are known as ‘Scottish’ or ‘Scots’ – never ‘Scotch’ – with the exception of ‘Scotch Whisky’ (note the absence of the ‘e’ the drink with the ‘e’ – ‘Whiskey’ comes from Ireland).

‘Scotch Eggs’ are actually an English invention, in 1851 by the prestigious London store ‘Fortnum and Mason’. They’re made by shelling a hardboiled egg, wrapping it in pork sausage meat, rolling in breadcrumbs and then deep fried. Hen’s eggs are the norm, but Fortnum’s also stock Duck, Goose and Quail Scotch Eggs.

They’re popular for picnics and as a buffet food, and are usually served cold and accompanied by pickles.

There’s a recipe for home made scotch eggs here :

Despite the Scotch Egg’s illustrious heritage (Fortnum’s are, after all, known as “The Queen’s Grocer”) they are now considered a cheap junk food, often sold in plastic packs from supermarket chiller cabinets.  


Some supermarkets sell them for as little as three for £1, while the originals from Fortnum’s retail at £2.75 each – unfortunately I have had to resort to photographing a cheaper Scotch Egg for this article, (with some of my own home pickled onions) but I will rectify this when next I visit Fortnum’s.