We love Happy Hour here at the Toffee Club, an English Pub in Southeast Portland, OR!
One of the most popular Happy Hour snacks at our pub is the oh-so-British Scotch Egg. We speak to Kathy Lisky in our kitchen team about the history of this delicious and unusual snack.
The origins of Scotch Eggs have been up for dispute for centuries. There are many tales on how an egg, covered in minced meat, bread crumbs, and deep-fried became a staple for many pub restaurants.
One tale, according to The Duke Perspective, and The Guardian, is that the dish’s origins are rooted in the coastal Yorkshire town of Whitby. The establishment William J Scott & Sons is still standing today and is said to have invented the name "Scotties". The original Whitby Scotch Eggs were wrapped with a creamy fish paste instead of the sausage which is used today. The sausage was introduced later due to its consistency holding up in packaging and transit. You can still get Scotties wrapped in creamy fish paste in local markets in Yorkshire.
Another tale suggests that the recipe of the egg is rooted in Indian cuisine and was imported by the British. The dish that referred to is “nargisi kofta”, a spicy meatball with a hard boil egg inside. This dish is similar to the Scotch Egg, but it's hard to understand why most of the spices would be taken out of it, perhaps for a more subtle British palette.
There are also some that believe that Scotch Eggs originated from North African recipes. There are similar dishes in Algerian cuisine that feature clove and other spices common in North African cuisine.
The final dispute for this iconic snack is an upscale London department store, Fortnum & Mason who claim to have created the Scotch Egg back in the mid 18th century. They claim creation as a portable snack for well-to-do travelers passing through Piccadilly Square. This has been disputed, however, based on some understanding that the Scotch egg began as a poor man’s lunch.
Whichever tale you choose to believe, we can tell you that here at the Toffee Club we are creating our very own Scotch Egg tale for Portland regulars and visitors alike. Every single Toffee Club Scotch Egg is made by hand with locally-sourced eggs and house-seasoned sausage. The egg and sausage core is covered in egg-wash and rolled in panko bread crumbs. Each egg cooked to order - deep fried to perfection and served directly to you on a bed of greens with a side of house-made spicy mustard.
We hope you will enjoy one of our legendary Scotch Eggs on a sunny Portland evening soon!