Deep-fried Mars bar

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Deep-fried Mars bar
Deep-fried mars bars.JPG
Homemade deep-fried Mars Bars
Place of origin Scotland
Main ingredient(s) Mars bar, batter

A deep-fried Mars bar is an ordinary Mars bar normally fried in a type of batter commonly used for deep-frying fish, sausages, and other battered products. The chocolate bar is typically chilled before battering to prevent it from melting into the frying fat, though a cold Mars bar can fracture when heated.

The dish originated at chip shops in Scotland as a novelty item, but was never mainstream. Since various mass media have reported on the practice since the mid-1990s, in part as a commentary on urban Scotland's notoriously unhealthy diet,[1] the popularity of the dish has spread. The product has not received support from Mars, Inc who said "deep-frying one of our products would go against our commitment to promoting healthy, active lifestyles.".[2]


A banner on the Carron fish shop in Stonehaven, reading "Birthplace of the World Famous Deep Fried Mars Bar".

The dish is said to have been created in 1995 in the Haven Chip Bar (now the Carron) in Stonehaven, near Aberdeen on Scotland's northeast coast.[3][4] The first recorded mention of the food was in the Aberdeen Evening Express, following a tip off phone call to their journalist Alastair Dalton that a chip shop in Stonehaven had been deep frying Mars Bars for local children. The Evening Express article included a quote from Mars spokesperson who said this was the first time they had heard of this being done with their product. The following day the story was picked up and run in the Daily Record, August 24, 1995, in an article titled "Mars supper, please".[5] This triggered a chain reaction, with Scottish broadsheets The Herald and Scotsman running the story the following day and the UK broadsheets the day after, each adding their own cultural slant. On the fifth day Keith Chegwin was doing taste tests on The Big Breakfast TV program and the story was going out globally on the BBC World Service. Chip shops around the country immediately responded by putting it on their menus.


Deep fried Mars bar and Snickers (medium sized) with vanilla ice cream and butterscotch sauce

Of 300 Scottish fish and chip shops surveyed in 2004, 22% sold deep-fried Mars bars, while an additional 17% had sold them in the past. Of the shops selling deep-fried Mars, three-quarters had only been selling them for the past 3 years. The average price per bar was 60 pence, and the younger generation were the main purchasers—three-quarters were sold to children and 15% to adolescents.[5] Average sales were 23 bars per week, although 10 outlets sold between 50 and 200 bars a week.[5] In 2012, the Carron in Stonehaven estimated sales of 100–150 deep-fried Mars bars per week, with tourists accounting for around 70% of this figure.[6]

Culinary influence[edit]

In 2000, Scottish chef Ross Kendall included the bars on the menu of Le Chipper restaurant in Paris.[7]

The deep-fried Mars bar has also given rise to the frying of other confections, for example, Reiver's Fish Bar in Duns annually advertises an 'Easter Special' of deep-fried Creme Egg, although this is available all year. Deep-fried Snickers have also been reported, particularly in the US where that brand is more popular.[8] In her book and television series Nigella Bites, Nigella Lawson includes a recipe for a deep-fried Bounty bar.[9] Deep-fried Moro bars are also sold in New Zealand, where the brand is popular.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Original source, Scottish Daily Record via:- "Deep-fried Mars myth is dispelled", BBC News online. BBC article dated 17 December 2004, retrieved 2006-11-15.
  2. ^ "Deep-fried Mars bars disowned by chocolate firm". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  3. ^ McColm, Euan (February 26, 2000). "No Haven for the Deep Fried Mars Bar; Birthplace of the Battered Choccy Treat Closes Down". Daily Record. 
  4. ^ French batter Mars bars menu publisher:BBC News BBC News
  5. ^ a b c Morrison, David S; Petticrew, Mark (2004). "Deep and crisp and eaten: Scotland's deep-fried Mars bar". The Lancet 364 (9452): 2180. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)17589-2. PMID 15610802. 
  6. ^ Brocklehurst, Steven (6 September 2012). "Deep-fried Mars bars: A symbol of a nation's diet?". BBC News. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "French batter Mars bars menu". BBC News. 24 February 2000. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Deep Fried Snickers
  9. ^ Deep Fried Bounty

External links[edit]