Tag Archives: Balut egg

In conversation with… Tom Parker Bowles

Tom Parker Bowles is a real foodie enthusiast. He is the author of three books: E Is For Eating – An Alphabet of Greed (2004), The Year of Eating Dangerously (2006) and Full English: A Journey Through the British and their food (2009). He is currently working on a fourth book, entitled Let’s Eat.

From 2007 to 2010 he presented Market Kitchen with Matthew Fort and over the past ten-years has had a weekly column in The Mail on Sunday.

A chief supporter of the Scotch egg movement (yes, there is such a thing), Tom believes it is one of the world’s great combinations: “pig meat, fat and blood, fried up into something so decadently porcine that my arteries began to creak. In a good way.” Here are Tom’s thoughts on some questions I posed to him, including a rather gruesome sounding egg.

Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Pork wrapped perfection.

Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Cold.

Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. I’m usually a purist, although a dash of English mustard is often a welcome addition.

Q. Are there any variations on the Scotch egg that you enjoy? Some chefs choose venison over sausage meat, others may try to spice the meat etc., or maybe you make your own?
A. A few chunks of black pudding (à la Handmade Scotch Egg Company), makes for double pork bliss. And I like a whack of chilli too.

Q. Talking of eggs, can you tell us a little more about your recent experience with a Balut egg?
A. Gosh, balut. A fertilised duck egg complete with embryonic bird. Contrary to popular opinion, the best balut does not contain a fully formed duck with bones, feathers and beak. The finest are those of about 16 days old, where the embryo is soft and wobbly. You make a crack in the bottom, pierce the membrane and suck out the juice. This is rich, savoury and a touch pongy! You then open the other end, douse with salt or vinegar, and eat the little duck. It has no flavour and the texture of a warm oyster. You then dig into the egg, which is wonderfully rich. I was rather dreading eating it but it actually turned out to be pretty good. One’s enough though. Somehow, I don’t see the balut Scotch egg taking off over here.

Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. The Handmade Scotch Egg Company are very good, and Hix one’s fine too.

Read more from Tom Parker Bowles at the Mail Online

Photograph © Les Wilson

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