Leave it to the Brits to come up with something as creatively fatty as the Scotch egg.
You start with a hard boiled egg. Then envelop it in sausage meat. Then roll it in breadcrumbs and lastly deep fry the whole thing. I think of it as the UK’s turducken but it is a British picnic delicacy. The kind of thing that Ratty would have packed in a picnic hamper in “Wind in the Willows,” along with a selection of pork pies and sausage rolls.
The London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented it over 200 years ago. But these days, you generally find scotch eggs in the refrigerated section of a soulless service station or supermarket, wrapped in cellophane, looking more like a paperweight than something you would actually eat, much less enjoy cold.
I should add that the only thing worst than eating a service station scotch egg is watching someone eating a service station scotch egg or, worst yet, being trapped in a car watching someone eating a service station scotch egg. It’s the stuff that Dante’s ninth ring of hell was made of.
In its natural state, piping hot out of the fryer served with a pint and a view of the river, I think it’s probably glorious. Those visiting The Ship in Wandsworth on Sept. 20 will find out first hand when the pub hosts its first ever scotch egg challenge. Anyone is invited to submit their winning egg for a chance at the title of, well, the ultimate scotch egg and all the bragging rights that accompany it. A panel of judges will determine the winner. For more information, visit The Ship’s website or follow along on Twitter using hashtag #ScotchEggChallenge.