Tim Hayward is a food writer, broadcaster and photographer. His features appear in the Guardian, Olive, Waitrose Food Illustrated, the Sydney Morning Herald, Delicious and a variety of on and off-line publications. He is also a regular contributor to the Observer Food Monthly ‘Word of Mouth’ blog supplying both news comment and a weekly column ‘Too Many Cooks’.
Tim is also the proprietor and editor of Fire & Knives, a quarterly magazine of new food writing (which is bloody marvelous!).
An equally keen devotee of the Scotch egg, Tim answered a few questions from me on the delectable pub snack…
Q. In three words, how would you describe a Scotch egg?
A. Pork Hand-Grenade.
Q. Best served hot or cold?
A. Hot and with the centre just a bit runny.
Q. Served with or without condiments? If with, then which?
A. With Piccalilli.
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.
A. Eggs, forcemeat and crumb-coating come in countless flavours and combinations. Given that the Scotch Egg only escaped the Bad Food Joke Book a couple of years ago, I can’t help thinking that, working at the most frenetic pace, our best chefs haven’t even begun to cover all the delicious options. There are countless thousands to go and I haven’t met one yet that I didn’t love. One thing, though, chefs. No matter how staggering your variation, don’t make the mistake of trying to rename it something more cool. Even if it’s a parfait of unicorn loin wrapped round a Faberge egg, it’s still a Scotch egg…. that’s the whole point!
Q. In your opinion, where serves the best Scotch egg?
A. I honestly think that’s too complicated to answer. These are deep philosophical quandaries. I’ve loved real ‘gourmet’ versions, poncey little quail egg jobs and the ones in the gas-flushed podules at motorway service stations and they’re all good at the right time. Does that make quality a temporal issue? The fact I can love a similar egg more or less each time I try it implies that quality is less of an absolute than one might believe. If asked ‘where serves the best beer’ could one ever truly answer. Instead, drawing on personal experience, I can only offer the rather unsatisfying opinion, and fervent wish, that the best Scotch Egg is the one you are about to eat.
Follow Tim on Twitter: @timhayward
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