“Um, would you happen to have a Scotch egg?”
“Unfortunately nae! It’s a sham but they ne’er sauld ower th’ lest year ur tois. Used tae be th’ best, thocht ah took them aff ay th’ menu lest Christmas, toorists loch yerself dorn’t come thes way huir uv a aft anymair.”
The Scottish butcher delivered the same grave news: Scotch eggs, the elusive meaty treat, had been pulled by a lack of demand. I’d heard it three times before while walking the storybook streets of Edinburgh, swinging in to every butchery I came across (a Scotsman I met in the Faroe Islands had told me my best bet for a good egg would be the butchers).
I expected Scotch eggs to be on every corner, like halal carts in New York City: ‘Scotch eggs! Gie yer Scotch eggs haur!’ But it seemed that the old staple was gone from Edinburgh. When I was flying to Scotland, I’d decided that my very first bite would be a Scotch egg. But after 5 hours on the ground, I’d still not eaten, and my tummy was rumbling up a storm.
‘I’ll take a breather in the park,’ I thought. The hunger had become a self-imposed test of patience… a fast. I decided that I’d give myself one final chance – with one final butcher – and if he failed me, I’d settle for a chippy.
What is a Scotch Egg Anyway? (Intermission)
Back to the Story…
The trees were breaded; the fountains looked yolky; the children on the swings had eggs for heads. My vision was tinted an enticing yellow… everything seemed scrumptious. I stumbled through the park toward W.M. Christie Family Butchery: t’was my Skywalker, my only hope. Driven by eggy lunacy, my tired trodden feet kept on’a walking.
At long last I approached W.M. Christie Family Butchery. Its unassuming doors sang sweet welcome as they swung. I entered, a ravenous wolfman; the light blue interior calmed my aching soul.
“H-hi there! Do you happen to have Scotch eggs?”
And with a glimmer in his knowing eye, with the grace of a healthy hen, my egg Jesus smiled and sweetle said:
“Ay coorse we dae lad — bide haur.”
And then he handed me the most decadent little sphere this Yank had ever seen. It shone with the light of the hills; in it laid the secrets of Scotsmen. As I paid with a couple of pounds, I asked, “C-can I just eat it like this? Just bite into it?”
“Weel lad, be cannie ‘at ye tak’ th’ wrapper aff first,” chuckled my meat Messiah, as he turned and hovered away.