Scotland's fried Mars bars and how the company washes its hands


As I have mentioned several times, one of the aspects that fascinates me the most about gastronomy is its cultural component. I love knowing ingredients, flavors, customs and traditional dishes from each region of the world. Now, sometimes gastronomic icons emerge somewhat, let's say, peculiar. This is what happens in Scotland with the battered and fried Mars chocolate bar, which is now rejected by the company itself.

I'm not very fond of greasy battered fried foods, I think they are sometimes abused, adding calories and fat to ingredients that don't need them, as is the case with fish, for example. And of course, this is an obvious case of multiplying calories to an already very unhealthy product. But his story is very curious.

The birth of a new fast food myth

Although in recent years the situation has changed, as we demonstrated with our Olympic special, the truth is that British gastronomy continues to draw a bad reputation. The British themselves have long worried about excess fats and sugars in their diet, and it seems that within their borders the Scots are the worst, as far as culinary prejudices are concerned.

In the mid-1990s a report appeared in the press that would fan the fire of bad eating habits. It was in 1994 when the newspaper Daily record reported the existence of a curious variety of fast food that was apparently very successful in Aescia, the deep-fried Mars bar, the battered and fried Mars chocolate bar.

The rise of the battered and fried chocolate bar

The report of Daily record echoed the information that had reached the local newspaper Aberdeen Evening Express. The news spread like wildfire through the media, reaching the national level, not only as a curious extravagance, but as an example of junk food and the general poor diet of the population. Without a doubt, a battered chocolate perfectly illustrates what should not be eaten.

It seems that the origin of this peculiarity is located in the Haven Chip Bar, today called Carron Fish Bar, one of many fast and cheap food stalls specialized in fish and chips, battered fish and chips. With the fame that the fried Mars bar soon acquired, many locals added this product to their menus, and it soon became an iconic Scottish myth.

Myth or Reality?

The term myth This battered chocolate is doing very well, and it did not take long for the controversy to arise about whether the Scots really abused it, or it was just a specific curiosity. With the new millennium, her fame increased as she was echoed in USA, and the interest in unraveling reality was renewed.

Various studies were carried out by the media and medical associations. For example, The Lancet, surveyed customers and hoteliers, getting few confirmations of their habitual consumption. But from the University of Dundee, the students who collaborated showed that it was easy to get the coveted chocolate bar in many stalls in the city, especially in areas frequented by young people.

In Glasgow, the capital, it doesn't seem like a difficult task either. The reality is that the fried Mars chocolate bar has become so famous that the vast majority of consumers are tourists and sporadic visitors, who either turn to stores that specifically advertise serving it, or simply ask to be prepared. Most already have the batter batter ready and the oil prepared, so they don't mind using a chocolate bar instead of a piece of fish.

A batter with a chocolate and caramel heart

The technique for cooking a fried Mars bar is essentially the same as that used to prepare fish and chipsAlthough it is recommended that the chocolate is cold to prevent it from melting too soon. The bar is dipped in the batter batter, which is usually a mixture of water, flour and baking soda, and is dipped into the boiling oil or fat until the outer layer is golden and uniform.

If done right, there should be a bar wrapped in a crunchy batter that hides an interior of melted milk chocolate melting with the candy in the bar. Certainly, a fusion of textures and flavors at least interesting, which undoubtedly contributes to the fat where it has been fried fish and other things have passed. Although personally it does not appeal to me too much, those who have tried it often say that it looks worse than it tastes, although it is a pump for the stomach.

The Mars company rejects the invention and disassociates itself from it

The Mars chocolate bar is owned by the American company Mars Inc. Created in 1932 in Berkshire, Great Britain, it is one of the best-known chocolate bars worldwide that has managed to survive changes in the market and society. In recent years they have tried to get rid of the bad reputation of an unhealthy product by modifying their recipe, and perhaps that is why the company now rejects the Scottish fried variety.

Faced with the recent claim of the Carren Fish Bar as the father of fried Mars, the company has declared that it is flattered that they enjoy their product so much, but they totally disassociate themselves from it. His spokesmen have wanted to make it clear that Mars rejects the fried bars because they do not match his promotion of a healthy lifestyle and healthy eating.

The company's position is more than reasonable, but it is still hypocritical. It is true that in recent years all food companies try to wash their image by renovating their products to make them healthier, but let's face it, a candy filled chocolate bar will never be a healthy food. It's okay to indulge yourself once in a while, just like it's okay if you try the deep-fried Mars. Make it a habit or not, it is everyone's responsibility.

Via | BBC
Images | Christian Cable, Karen Chan 16, John Shultis
Directly to the Palate | Dark chocolate is not fattening

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