Scotch woodcock

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Scotch woodcock
Scotch woodcock brit-wiki.jpg
Scotch woodcock garnished with anchovy fillets and parsley.
TypeHors d'oeuvre, snack
Place of originUnited Kingdom
Created byUnknown
Main ingredientsEggs, toast, anchovy paste

Scotch woodcock is a British savoury dish consisting of creamy, lightly-scrambled eggs served on toast that has been spread with anchovy paste or Gentleman's Relish, and sometimes topped with chopped herbs and black pepper.[1][2] It is most often served as an hors d'oeuvre.

Scotch woodcock was served in the refreshment rooms of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom as late as 1949.[3] It was also served historically at the colleges of the University of Cambridge and the University of Oxford[4] and it continues to be served at the Oxford and Cambridge Club as an alternative to sweet desserts or cheeseboard.

It was a well-known dish in the Victorian era, and is mentioned in Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management.[5]

The name is modelled on Welsh rabbit.[6] Similar to Welsh rabbit which contains no rabbit meat, the dish has no woodcock, a type of bird, in its ingredients at all.[7]


  1. ^ Boxer, A. (2012). Arabella Boxer's Book of English Food: A Rediscovery of British Food From Before the War. Penguin Books Limited. p. pt301. ISBN 978-0-241-96167-4.
  2. ^ Herbst, R.; Herbst, S.T. (2015). The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion, 2nd edition. Barron's Educational Series. pp. pt872–873. ISBN 978-1-4380-7621-8.
  3. ^ Wilcox, J.H. (1949). "The kitchen and refreshment rooms of the house of commons". Journal of Parliamentary Affairs. III (2): 316–320. doi:10.1093/
  4. ^ Aylmer, Ursula; Carolyn McCrum (2005). Oxford Food: An Anthology. Ashmolean Museum. p. 26. ISBN 1-85444-058-6.
  5. ^ Beeton, Isabella (2000). Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-283345-6.
  6. ^ John Ayto, An A-Z of Food and Drink, Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 9780192803511 s.v. 'Scotch woodcock'
  7. ^ "French fries aren't French and other deceptively named foods".