Reading the title will most likely incite one of two reactions:
- Eww – Gross!
- Hmm.. could be interesting. I’m listening.
Fortunately, I fall under the latter category so when I heard about this local adaptation of one of my favorite chocolate bars in Edinburgh, I had to taste it for myself.
But before I get to the tasting experience, let me bring you up to speed on the story behind this Scottish novelty. A disclaimer should also be made up front regarding the company that manufactures the Mars bar who has publicly made clear that it does not endorse this chip-chop battered, deep-fat fried recipe.
The world-famous “delicacy” (for lack of a more adequate term), came about once upon a time (all the way back in the 90s) at The Carron Fish Bar along the northeast coast of Scotland. I couldn’t find the full back-story on how or why it was created but I get the sense it was serendipitous. The image of a chef snacking on a Mars bar while cooking and then it falling into a pan of frying oil accidentally could very well have been the “Eurika!” moment that started it all.
After a bit of asking around, Caitlin (a colleague/friend who I was exploring the city with) and I were recommended a few spots that served it, including the Clamshell along the Royal Mile. However, their tips were always met with a slight warning/preparation for what was to come. Some of those who’d tried it absolutely hated it (it couldn’t possibly be everyone’s cup of tea) while others had mixed feelings and didn’t really want to deter us from trying it.
We ended up splitting a deep-fried Mars bar at Castle Rock within the Grassmarket area of the city. They prepare on-order and from what I’ve gathered from online sources, the Mars bar needs to be frozen before it is fried to preserve its chocolate coating upon impact with the oil so anticipate a 5-minute prep time.
I have to say – and hope you won’t judge me too harshly – but it was delicious. Granted, I only had it once during my entire trip as it was quite heavy but the taste was not unlike any other cooked desert like crepes for example, except for its texture and thickness.
It’s certainly not a dessert to have every day (especially if you’re preparing your body for the summer), but worth the try if you are visiting Scotland and wouldn’t mind giving in to your sweet tooth.
PS: If you’re feeling nutty, you can also try the deep-fried Snickers bars variety although they’re probably not as famous as the Mars ones.