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Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Monday, 8 February 2010
Manchester gives Scotch eggs a tangy twist

Ben Holden and some of his Manchester eggs
"What would it be like if you put a pickled egg in a Scotch egg?"

An amateur chef is aiming to put Manchester on the culinary map by creating a twist on an old British favourite.

The Manchester egg is described by its creator, Ben Holden, as "a Scotch egg but with a pickled egg, instead of a regular hard-boiled egg, in the middle."

That's not the only difference though, as Ben also uses blend of locally sourced pork and Bury black pudding to create the sausage-meat outer casing.

And even the deep-fried coating, traditionally made with breadcrumbs, has been subject to some Mancunian changes.

"I've been experimenting with [the crust]," Ben explains, "trying different things like crushed up crisps and Japanese style crumb."

Ben hit upon the idea of the egg whilst enjoying some bar snacks at his local, the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street.

"I thought to myself, 'what would it be like if you put a pickled egg in a Scotch egg?'

"I tried it out by making small batch and it tasted wild.

"So I took a batch to the Castle and gave out a few samples to the punters.

"Everyone loved it - they were throwing fivers at me begging for more."

Manchester eggs
I may have created something that will live longer than me - a glorious egg-shaped legacy for Manchester
Ben Holden

From there, things have really started to take off for the egg and Ben, who usually creates websites for a living, has found his egg moved into the role of local culinary celebrity.

"I decided to supply the Castle with 20 a week, tweaking the recipe each week and inviting consumer feedback.

"Its popularity has started snowballing - it started to gain a loyal fan base and more interest was attracted.

"It now has its own Twitter account and people have showed loads of support.

"Last week's batch sold out in two hours."

Little wonder when his customers have made comments like "it beats pork scratchings or your usual packet of nuts" and that is "wonderful, really tangy".

With other outlets now asking Ben to supply them with his Manchester egg and a vegetarian version being trialled, he thinks his creation could well turn out to be a fine addition to the North West's food arsenal - and he couldn't be happier about it.

"I named it the Manchester egg, because Manchester needs a new namesake dish to sit alongside the Manchester tart.

"I wanted to claim this for Manchester and it's being wonderfully embraced by the city.

"I feel like a new culinary creation may have been born, that I may have created something that will live longer than me - a glorious egg-shaped legacy for Manchester."



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