A quintessential British snack from a quintessential British institution...
You might be surprised to hear that the mighty Scotch egg was actually invented by a British institution: Fortnum & Mason. Keep reading as we reveal the Scotch egg’s London-based beginnings.
Where it all began
To many, the inception of the Scotch egg coming from an English city is astonishing enough news. What might be even more baffling is that long before it became a favourite for lazy picnics in the park, this pocket-sized snack was designed to be an on-the-go dining option. The ‘Scotched egg’ was first created at Fortnum & Mason in 1738 for Londoners travelling to their country homes. Today, the Scotch egg has seen a huge revival in popularity, emerging from the shadows of service stations to become a farmer’s market staple or indulgent gastropub bite. Over 250 years on, variations are available around the globe, but the original can still be found at Piccadilly’s Fortnum & Mason.
The history of Fortnum & Mason
Whet your appetite for a peek further into Fortnum’s history. The Piccadilly landmark was founded by William Fortnum, who began his career working in Queen Anne’s royal household as a footman. He noticed that there was a lot of half-used candle wax available from nearby St James’s Palace and used his entrepreneurial spirit to resell them for a profit. As his success grew, Fortnum convinced his landlord, Hugh Mason, to be his associate, and the now-iconic duo founded the first Fortnum & Mason stall in St James's in 1707.
What is a Scotch egg?
A curious sounding dish, a Scotch egg has a boiled egg – with a perfectly runny yolk – at its centre. This fragile centre is encased by a sausage meat covering (in Fortnum’s case, outdoor reared pork) and finally, an outer layer of breadcrumbs. After more than 250 years of perfecting their creation, we can’t recommend the Fortnum’s recipe enough. Browse its cookbook for the recipe to this and other Fortnum's delicacies, or perhaps pick up something fresh in-store.
To explore more of what makes St James’s and Regent Street special, go Behind Our Doors and discover more untold stories and ‘how to’ masterclasses. Why not attempt to create a classic recipe by Sauce By The Langham, a legendary martini with Dukes Bar, or follow @StJamesLondon and @RegentStreetW1 on Instagram for more ideas and inspiration.