Scotland has produced legendary chefs and top-quality ingredients, but one delicacy managed to become world famous (or perhaps infamous) without making an appearance on many restaurant menus.
Forget haggis, cranachan, Arbroath smokies, or other well-regarded Scottish dishes…the fame of the deep-fried Mars Bar eclipses them all.
While the day and date of its creation is a wee bit hazy, it’s thought this calorie-laden confection made its first appearance out of the deep fat frier at the Haven Chip Bar (now the Carron) in Stonehaven in 1995.
In August that year, after a local newspaper reported that the shop had been deep frying Mars Bars for local children the story quickly spread. In less than a week Keith Chegwin, no less, was carrying out taste tests on TV’s The Big Breakfast and it was even mentioned on the BBC World Service. Fame indeed.
In 2000, Scottish chef Ross Kendall included the bars on the menu of Le Chipper restaurant in Paris.
But not everyone is a fan.
The product hasn’t had the backing of Mars Inc, who said “deep-frying one of our products goes against our commitment to promoting healthy, active lifestyles.”
Earlier this year Aberdeenshire Council instructed the Carron Fish Bar to remove its banner advertising the shop as the origin of the product.
The council said that it wished to “improve the look of Stonehaven”.
The banner is still there.