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The Deep-Fried Candy Bar: Scotland’s Irresistible Culinary Icon

The deep fried candy bar: Scotland’s Unofficial National Dish

Scotland is a country known for its stunning landscapes, rich history and vibrant culture. But when it comes to culinary delights, one particular dish stands out as an unconventional symbol of Scottish cuisine – the deep-fried candy bar. In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of Scotland’s unofficial national dish, exploring its origins, preparation, and popularity.

A love affair with deep-frying

The Scots have a unique relationship with deep-frying. It seems that almost anything edible can be coated in batter and dipped in hot oil. From deep-fried pizza to deep-fried cheeseburgers, Scotland has embraced this indulgent cooking technique with gusto. Among the many deep-fried treats, the deep-fried Mars bar reigns supreme as a beloved and infamous delicacy.

The birth of a culinary icon

The fried Mars bar first appeared in 1995 at The Haven Chip Bar in Stonehaven, now known as The Carron. The high-calorie snack was the brainchild of a creative chef who decided to dip Mars bars in the same batter used for fish and chips. Little did he know that this seemingly odd combination would become a culinary sensation.

The cooking process

To make a Mars deep-fried bar, a regular Mars chocolate bar is coated in a sweet batter and then dipped in hot fat or oil. The bar is fried until the batter turns golden brown, creating a crispy, caramelized exterior that encloses a molten chocolate center. This unique blend of textures and flavors makes the Mars Deep-Fried Bar a truly indulgent and memorable treat.

A controversial treat

The Mars Deep-Fried Candy Bar has garnered both praise and criticism since its inception. Supporters of the deep-fried delicacy argue that it is a delicious and nostalgic treat that showcases Scotland’s culinary creativity. On the other hand, critics denounce it as an unhealthy and artery-clogging monstrosity. Regardless of the debate, the deep-fried Mars bar has cemented its place in Scottish culture.

Symbolism and popularity

As an unofficial national dish, the deep-fried Mars bar is more than just a guilty pleasure. It embodies Scotland’s bold and unapologetic approach to food, celebrating indulgence and decadence. It may not be a dish enjoyed by everyone, but its presence on menus across the country and its reputation as a quintessential Scottish treat is undeniable.

Exploring Scotland’s Culinary Landscape

The Mars deep fried bar is just one facet of Scotland’s diverse and fascinating food scene. From hearty stews and haggis to fresh seafood and artisanal cheeses, Scottish cuisine offers a wide range of flavors and experiences. Exploring the country’s culinary traditions provides a deeper understanding of its culture and history.


In conclusion, the fried Mars bar holds a special place in the Scottish culinary landscape as an unofficial national dish. Its creation and popularity is an example of the Scots’ love of bold flavors and unconventional combinations. While it may not be to everyone’s taste, the deep-fried Mars bar represents the spirit of indulgence and culinary adventure that defines Scotland’s gastronomic identity. So if you find yourself in Scotland, don’t be afraid to try this unique and controversial treat – it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.


A deep-fried candy bar is a sweet treat in which a candy bar, typically a Mars bar, is coated in batter and deep-fried until crispy, resulting in a unique blend of textures and flavors.

Where did the deep-fried Mars bar come from?

The Mars® Deep Fried Bar was created in 1995 at The Haven Chip Bar (now The Carron) in Stonehaven, Scotland. It was the brainchild of a creative chef who decided to dip Mars bars in the same batter used for fish and chips.

Why is the deep-fried Mars bar considered Scotland’s unofficial national dish?

The deep-fried Mars bar is considered Scotland’s unofficial national dish due to its widespread popularity and cultural significance. It has become an iconic symbol of Scottish cuisine, showcasing the country’s bold and indulgent approach to food.

Is the fried Mars bar unhealthy?

The deep-fried Mars bar is indeed an indulgent and high-calorie treat. Coated in batter and deep fried, it is high in calories, sugar and fat. As with any fried and sweet food, moderation is the key.

What other fried delicacies are available in Scotland?

Scotland is known for its love of deep-frying, and as well as the deep-fried Mars bar, there are other unique delicacies to try. These include deep fried pizza, deep fried cheeseburgers and even deep fried Cadbury chocolate eggs.

Can I find Mars bar snacks outside of Scotland?

Although the Mars bar fried snack originated in Scotland, its popularity has spread and you may find variations or similar treats in other places. However, Scotland remains the epicenter of this indulgent treat and it is highly recommended that you try an authentic Mars bar while you are there.

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