'Substantial': a scotch egg scandal

A huge surge in sales for this tiny, eggy, picnic treat occurs after becoming a substantial food item to accompany a pub drink

Oren Brown
15th December 2020

UK scotch egg wholesalers have reported a ten-fold increase in demand since the start of November. Additionally, according to Google Trends, national interest in the scotch egg has skyrocketed at a similarly monumental rate. This news arrives pertinently in a year saturated with chaos and implausibility. Unsurprisingly, the sausage-meat treat is newsworthy for fairly ridiculous reasons.

Tenuous international relations. A devastating worldwide pandemic. Breaded, sausage-wrapped boiled eggs. All of these topics have circulated national headlines in 2020.

In accordance with the COVID-19 tier-system, bars & resteraunts across the country have been forced to operate in a limited capacity. In the words of Boris Johnson; “In tier 2, alcohol may only be served in hospitality settings as part of a substantial meal.” This means that if you want a pint, you are going to have to order food with it, too.

the scotch egg - something traditionally considered a picnic food or snack

This new rule has raised some eyebrows. Not only does it contribute to a concerning level of food waste, but it also seems rather inconsistent. Where is the line drawn in regards to a 'substantial' meal? The most questionable foodstuff to meet the criteria was the scotch egg - something traditionally considered a picnic food or snack.

As droves of daydrinkers flock to the pubs of tier-2 Britain, the scotch egg has instantaneously become the dependable companion of any alcoholic beverage. This, clearly, is more of a indicator that people seek to circumvent the rules, rather than a genuine interest in breaded egg. Cheap, small and rather inoffensive, the average scotch egg is a preferrable alternative to a full English if you just fancy a pint.

While ministers' decision to label the scotch egg a 'substantial meal' has aroused amusing debate nationwide, the fiasco is part of a more concerning issue. In addition to the afforementioned food waste, the situation is another pitfall in a debatably inconsistent and flawed tier-system.

the decision to label the scotch egg a 'substantial meal' has aroused amusing debate nationwide

One positive to take from this scenario is that the scotch egg may act as a silver lining to struggling small businesses in this trying time. Customers previously dissuaded from attending a venue due to the new rules may consider paying a visit to their local if it only means purchasing an egg as their meal. It is rather wonderful to imagine that, in decades to come, the scotch egg may be responsible for the survival of some restaurants. On the other side of the same coin, however, it is greatly troubling that an egg should ever need to be a buisness' saviour.

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AUTHOR: Oren Brown
English student. @orenajb

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