Few snacks have a provenance as disputed as that of the Scotch egg. Though it was allegedly conceived as a posh picnic snack by British retailer-to-the-establishment Fortnum & Mason in the 1700s, it has also been also claimed that the Scotch egg’s traditional form – a hen’s egg encased in meat and breadcrumbs – has roots in India or north Africa, though not, confusingly, Scotland.
But wherever its origins lie, the Scotch egg lost its lustre in the latter half of the 20th century, no thanks to the cheap, plastic-wrapped versions stocked in petrol-station fridges nationwide. Happily, this sorrowful nadir also made the snack ripe for reinvention, along with every other piece of junk food under the sun, which brings us to 2017, the age of the artisanal Scotch egg. High-end ingredients, innovative twists and artful presentation have all helped restore this culinary icon to its rightful place in our pubs and picnic hampers. Here are six of London’s best.