A deep fried Mars bar

Up north we visited Stonehaven, a nice old seaside town south of Aberdeen. The Carron (formerly The Haven) chippie there claims to be the home of the deep-fried Mars Bar. As it's the first time I've seen one on a menu I had to try one. It's a curious thing, an example of whatever the modern equivalent of tartanry is - something that represents Scotland worldwide but isn't very common when you live here. Londoners recently voted it the 6th best Scottish invention while Scots didn't include it in their top 10 at all.

So, what was it like? Well, it was very well made for a start. The batter was beautifully light and crispy and sealed the chocolate so none of it oozed out. Initially, a very tidy snack. The first bite was magical - a lovely mix of savoury and sweet. The crunch of the batter contrasted nicely with the gooey filling. The Mars bar doesn't melt but the caramel and the Milky Way-style fluffy stuff (technical term?) melt together and go all marshmallowy. Overall, it was surprisingly nice but after a couple of bites I'd had enough. I wouldn't eat a normal Mars bar really, so it's no reflection on its deep fried friend.

The wikipedia entry on Deep fried Mars bars is pretty detailed and outlines local variations like the deep fried Creme Egg from Duns (they've taken that too far). It also says, in a very deadpan way "It is known that the deep-fried Mars Bar was preceded by the deep-fried pizza. It was common practice in Angus to deep fry frozen pizza from as early as 1980." - now deep fried pizza really was a real part of growing up. I remember it being a real treat although when I tried one recently I couldn't handle it. Posting the Mars bar photo on Flickr prompted a discussion of the best thing you've ever had deep fried. My friend John (from Aberdeen) grew up on deep fried jam butties. Something I remember fondly is the cheese sandwiches deep fried in pakora batter from (the now defunct) Murphy's Pakora Bar. They were outstanding. Fried ice cream is big in Mexico. Any advances on that?

Update: Simon James points out a clip of Raymond Blanc trying a deep fried Mars bar on BBC2's The Restaurant. He couldn't eat a whole one either.

Seems you're keeping good company :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yG0zN-LQTs

Simon James x

This blog never fails to amaze me.

In a really god way.

SJ - Wow, Raymond Blanc. Interesting that we both came to the same conclusion. I had the same thought, that I'd never need to eat another one.

Ben - thank you. I sometimes feel like I'm reclaiming my inner idiot. Also in a really good way.

Oh I could really eat one of those! I've always heard people go on about them, but I've never read a review of one. And it's the first time I've ever seen a picture of one. So thanks.

On the topic of deep fried stuff, our local chippy used to deep fry anything you wanted as long as you asked nicely.

PS. the stuff in the middle is called nougat.

I've had deep-fried cheesecake at a Japanese place in New Orleans and fried ice-cream at a Japanese place in Vegas. Both were beautifully done in tempura batter and made good deserts even better. Both I highly recommend.

Anna - I thought it was nougat, but it's not the same as nutty nougat so that threw me.

Robert - Wow. Deep fried cheesecake. I can't imagine what that's like at all but I'd love to try it. Does it all melt inside?

i've always loved the idea of these but sadly struggle these days with a whole mars bar - i just start to feel ill quite quickly.
a fun sized selection would be mighty fine
x

Getting flashbacks of that epitome of 1970s desserts the Baked Alaska, thought the wikipedia article describes something more sophisticated than I remember.

Meanwhile planning research trip to Duns for a look at one of these creme eggs, accompanied by a taster. Also have heard dark talk of deep fried chewits.

Isn't the Milky Way-style fluffy stuff called 'minibar'?

British chip shops are a great source of regional diversity. In Keighley, Yorkshire, they do a 'scone'- a big chunk of sliced potato with a thin layer of fish in it. I doesn't get called a 'scone' anywhere else, though I have seen similar things elsewhere. In Carlisle they do a fried potato sphere, about the size of a cricket ball. Can't recall the name though.

I thought the fluffy stuff was nougar. I'm sure they used to say that in either a mars bar or milky way advert, erm, a long time ago.

Mmmm, baked alaska... fried potato sphere. This is making me hungry.

Chris - surely those deep fried Creme Eggs are a health hazard. I keep picturing the filling spilling out like molten lava when you take a bite. Proceed carefully.

Deep fried chewits - wow !

There's currently a war raging here in the Black Country to see who actually invented orange battered chips!

I've had chips all over the country but nowhere else have I seen battered chips but here in the Black Country.

http://www.expressandstar.com/2007/10/19/battered-chip-battle-rages-on/

Good point - gloves and a bucket of water at the ready for the taster.

I'm sure the Victorians would have had specific cutlery for this sort of thing.

just reading all this is making my arteries cry.
ice cream is the oddest thing i'd come across deep fried. they had it at monster mash i seem to remember, and also at a number of mexican restaurants in the states. a desert to feel mildly smug after.

Battered chips? Wow. I feel a road trip coming on.

Nigella Lawson has a recipe for deep fried choc bars -I think she uses Bounty bars and uses the fun-size bars. I guess she would think of it as a sort of Tempura.
Would it be bettter if the Mars bar was frozen or in the fridge before frying it?

I always loved getting a deep fried banana in batter from my local chinese takeaway in Edinburgh. Is that a common thing in China? It also came drenched in golden syrup to add to the heart attack induced goodness of it all.

I have a confession to make...I have had both a deep fried mars bar AND a deep fried cream egg. A chippy at the top of my road sells them along with deep fried snickers. I love the mars bar, I actually find it far less sickly than a regular mars bar. However the cream egg doesn't really work as as soon as you bite into it the whole thing collapses and all the filling drops out the bottom (very messy!)

LOL What an idea. :D Great post. And Mars ;)

Recommended reading

More from I like's Amazon astore