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The UK’s top 5 Scotch eggs

While many of us will spend the Easter weekend up to our eyes in brightly coloured foil wrappers devouring chocolate eggs like our life depended on it, those with less of a sweet tooth might prefer to celebrate with a savoury snack, and what better way than with a Scotch egg?

Having long dwelt in the culinary doldrums, offering little more appeal than a packet of pork scratchings, over the last few years the Scotch egg has been given the gourmet treatment at gastropubs, where the signature bar snack has been put on a pedestal.

Rather than originating from Scotland as the name suggests, the word “scotch” originates from “scotched”, meaning processed. Luxury London store Fortnum & Mason lays claim to having created the Scotch egg in 1738 for hungry travellers seeking portable nourishment before a long journey from Piccadilly.

The earliest printed recipe appears in the 1809 edition of Mrs. Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery using a hen’s egg and served with gravy. Soon after, the humble Scotch egg’s popularity soared and it went on to become a popular picnic snack among wealthy Victorians.

But enough pontificating, you’re hungry, so read on for our round up of the top five Scotch eggs in the UK.

5: Opera Tavern

Photo credit: Gary Simmons / Scoff London

Playing on the Covent Garden restaurant’s Spanish roots, the Opera Tavern’s Scotch egg is packed with morcilla (blood sausage), which imbues it with rich, earthy flavours. The bright orange yolk is perfectly runny and the breadcrumbs crammed with crunch making this tasty morsel a winner. £6

Opera Tavern, 23 Catherine Street, London WC2B 5JS 

4: Fortnum & Mason

The cradle of the Scotch egg has come up trumps this year, creating the “chotch” egg, a love child of the Scotch egg and the Easter egg. Billing itself as “the world’s first gourmet chocolate Scotch egg”, it combines venison with Varhona dark chocolate infused with juniper berries. Daring enough to try it? £3.95

Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London W1A 1ER 

3: The Sands End

Photo credit: The Thorne Ultimatum

This unassuming pub in Fulham was one of the first to champion gourmet Scotch eggs and has gained a reputation for them. Cooked to perfection, the sunshine yellow yolks are pleasingly oozy, while the sausage meet is moist and tender. The best part? They come with homemade spicy tomato sauce. £5.

The Sands End, 135-137 Stephendale Road, London SW6 2PR

2: Hinds Head

Coming very close to stealing the crown, Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred pub in Bray knows how to boil an egg. Their gallant effort boasts a salt-flecked golden coating made with Panko breadcrumbs used in Japanese cooking. Inside, the meat is juicy and soft, and the canary yellow yolk dying to escape onto the plate. At just £3.75, it’s a steal.

Hinds Head, High Street, Bray, West Berkshire SL6 2AB 

1: Harwood Arms

There could only be one winner. These bad boys from the Fulham gastropub co-owned by The Ledbury’s head chef Brett Graham are so divine, I could happily scoff three in one sitting. The secret to their success is the use of venison in place of sausage meat, which adds a rich, gamey element. The Veuve Clicquot yellow yolks are bursting with flavour, and their coats of armour are fantastically crunchy. You owe it to yourself to try one, or three for that matter. £4.

Harwood Arms, Walham Grove, London SW6 1QP

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