Tag Archives: 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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Fortnum & Mason’s World Record Scotch Egg Attempt

If chocolate eggs really aren’t your thing this Easter, then how about trying something more savoury. The Scotch egg is officially on the comeback trail, its popularity seeing it appear on more and more restaurant and pub menus, but now there’s a creation to top them all.

Fortnum & Mason’s innovation chef Luke Turner has created the world’s largest Scotch egg (officially still pending with Guinness World Records), beating the previous record from Brown’s Hotel, London set in 2008. The gigantic golden orb weighs a whopping 6.955kg and required 6kg of sausage-meat, two-pints of egg wash and over 100g of panko breadcrumbs for the coating. The Ostrich egg alone weighed 1.7kg.

A Scotch egg for some may come as an unwelcome flashback to a forgotten childhood picnic. Indeed, thoughts are likely to carry grave images and give rise to a metallic taste in the mouth, but this spherical delight is a British institution, a real classic.

Inventors of the Scotch egg in 1738, it seems fitting that the record should be set by Fortnum & Mason and the honour returned home. Indeed, the snack is so popular at the F&M deli that they shift around one-hundred a week, including several varieties of egg: quails egg, hens egg, ducks egg, goose egg and Ostrich egg.

“It might seem a bit odd,” said Turner, “but when a F&M butcher challenged me to ‘Scotch’ an Ostrich egg, I had to do it.”

The real challenge came with not wrapping the Ostrich egg in sausage-meat or even lifting the monstrous wedge, but deep-frying. “We just didn’t have a deep-fryer big enough,” remarked Turner, “so we decided to wrap it in muslin and have two people lower it into a pot.”

Not content with the attempt, Turner says that he may give it another go. “I’m not completely satisfied,” said Turner, “I think it could be rounder, bigger!”

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The Hospital Club

These mini treats from The Hospital Club are served as sides and arrive beautifully presented. Unfortunately however, looks can be deceiving and they are chewy and over-seasoned. The over-riding flavour appears to be nutmeg which covers much of the base flavour of the meat and egg, and you are therefore left chewing a mouth of pot pourri rather than being able to enjoy bite-size treats. The fact they are served warm should be celebrated as the meat melts in your mouth and the egg remains ever so slightly runny, however someone in the kitchen with a liberal hand to the spice jar manages to produce one flavour just too severe.

Price:

Overall: 2/5

The Hospital Club
24 Endell Steet
London
WC2H 9HQ
020 7170 9100

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