It all began a few months ago, when I observed I had a new Twitter follower who rejoiced in the unusual moniker of @manchesteregg. Now, those who know me will be aware that my thoughts are never far away from food; specifically, what I will eat next and how long I can reasonably be expected to wait for it, but I clearly have a much classier side (I always knew it was there somewhere), as my immediate thought was that a Manchester Egg might be a little like a Faberge egg, only local in some way that I had yet to fathom.
Turned out I was wrong. The Manchester Egg is the creation of Ben Holden, a man my husband is keen to meet and shake by the hand, for he has had the brainwave of taking a pickled egg, wrapping it in a jaunty black pudding and sausage jerkin, and then adding a final crisp little capelet of breadcrumbs. However, an unfortunate logistical problem has occurred, thus far depriving poor Mr Liz of his wholesome snack: said eggs only appear to be available in two locations, neither of which I have ever been to.
So here's the issue. I am lazy, and ideally prefer to visit venues in South Manchester that are either a short walk or taxi ride away. If I am ever lured into the centre of Manchester, it tends to be by the promise of somewhere that has the words "bar", "champagne" or "wine" somewhere in its name. Ben's egg is seemingly only available at Soup Kitchen on Spear Street, or the Castle Hotel on Oldham Street; and indeed, a brief Twitter conversation with Mr Holden suggests that it will be a few weeks before these tasty golden nuggets are even in residence at the latter.
Entrepreneurs like Ben must understand that by inventing such items, they have a responsibility to their potential patrons: the thousands of tearful, angry and confused boys across South Manchester who have evil wives and want nothing more than to enjoy a Manchester Egg in a convenient venue. Mr Liz has even seen you in his wife's Olive magazine, leaning nonchalently towards the camera whilst brandishing the elusive prize, the slippery treasure cruelly not available to those in the suburbs.
So we promise to visit the Castle Hotel as soon as you give us the go-ahead; Mr Liz will probably even ensure that he has had nothing to eat all day, and will wear a coat with extra-large egg-bearing pockets. Just one thing though; according to the egg's own website, it is "a hearty commodity worthy of a gentleman without need of garnish", and frankly this raises more questions than it answers. Am I, as a girl, not allowed one? Will my husband have to pass some kind of test to prove that he is a gentleman, such as tossing his gloves into his top hat from thirty paces? Worse still, what if he is judged a gentleman who DOES have need of garnish?
I will endeavour to clear up these and other mysteries when I move on to The Great Manchester Egg Hunt, Part Two: The Chase....
- you can look at pictures of the local lovely at http://manchesteregg.com, or if you've actually got your hands on one you could perhaps review it for us below: