battered candy bars dusted with powdered sugar
Deep-fried candy bars are a sweet treat that seem too good to be true. In fact, at one point in Scotland, public health experts conducted a survey to prove the existence of the treat, as there was speculation that the calorie-laden monstrosity was an urban myth (per BBC). The resulting 2004 study published in The Lancet showed that indeed, not only was the fried treat real, but it was sold in nearly a quarter of fish and chip shops throughout Scotland, with shops selling an average of 23 pieces each week.
Deep-fried Mars bars may be a bit unsightly, admits The Culture Trip, but there’s a reason the greasy candy bar persists. The unexpected delicacy became so famous, in fact, that the company responsible for producing Mars bars sent a letter to the offending fish and chip shop stating the fried creation doesn’t match the company’s “promotion of healthy living” and requested the store post disclaimers on menus and the wall. After public backlash, however, The Telegraph reports Mars expressed approval, if not pride, for the crispy invention, while reiterating the company wouldn’t budge on its position on not endorsing the deep-fried snack.
A Dare Becomes A Global Phenomenon
neon sign for deep-fried mars bars
We have two Scottish school friends, John Twaddle and Brian McDonald, to thank for the existence of deep-fried Mars bars. As told to the Daily Record, Twaddle asked what ingredients could be fried at the local fish-and-chip shop and settled on the chocolate bar, thinking it would be a disgusting dare for his friend. Unfazed, McDonald stepped up to the challenge — and the same shop continues to sell around 150 fried bars weekly.
The shop worker at the time thought the joke was hilarious but wasn’t sure how to proceed, reports The Press and Journal. Rumor of the fry quickly spread; first throughout the boys’ group of friends and then covered by Scottish media outlets (via Slurrp). Tourists now clamor to the fish shop to sample the treat. Council members once tried to remove the shop’s banner advertising the birthplace of the snack, but Scottish public outrage won, and the sign remains (per BBC).
Believe it or not, you can make these greasy delicacies at home in a deep fryer. Mix flour, milk, eggs, and you can fry up fish, chips, and candy bars in one go, explains Taste Atlas. Prepare to bite into hot, crispy batter and have your mouth fill with warm, melted chocolate and caramel that becomes more textured as you chew, describes Nosey Chef. The crispy, savory batter somehow complements the chocolate bar’s sweetness, insists Taste Atlas; but remember, the treat remains a divisive one.