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Scotch eggs make headlines in the UK

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The humble scotch egg has made news headlines recently as it has become the centre of a raging debate in the UK over what constitutes a “substantial meal”. The English delicacy supposedly dates back to the 18th century as a luxury travel snack for the wealthy, though its origins are contentious. In more recent news however, the UK Conservative government has shone an unexpected spotlight on the party snack as one way for pubs and restaurants to fulfil the requirements of serving food in order to stay open following stricter COVID-19 restrictions. 

The debate on what classifies as substantial when it comes to ordering food has been raging since late November in the UK as the country exited a national lockdown. Rather than a full UK wide lockdown, there will be levels of restrictions imposed on each region depending on the amount of coronavirus spread in that area. The tiers system as it is known has caused controversy in the UK as some regions have felt they are being unfairly targeted compared to others. 

Conservative Food Minister George Eustice landed minister Michael Gove in hot water after the later said a scotch egg was “probably” not a substantial meal. Gove later contradicted the statement live on television with Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain when he described the pub food as “definitely” a substantial meal. 

The scotch egg is a classic recipe of hard boiled egg surrounded by sausage meat and engulfed in breadcrumbs. It was thought to be the choice of snack by travellers as it was less pungent than the traditional boiled egg. 

Since the debate started, sales of scotch eggs have been reportedly up around the country thanks to the unexpected rise in media profile. The Cooperative Supermarket was one store that reported a 26% increase in sales of scotch eggs from last year, where other smaller stores have said they’ve seen a up to a 50% increase in sales.