Right, so: the Deep Fried Mars Bar.
This is something that does my dinger.
To clarify, not the concept per se: if you want to dip a chocolate bar in batter, deep fry it in old chip fat and enjoy it in all it’s gooey, sticky goodness, that leads you to entering a sugar rush so extreme that can see through time, then fill yer boots – I will neither judge nor scoff and – to be honest – would probably be slightly envious.
No. What bothers me is how this joke – which is really how it started – has led to some tourists in Scotland thinking it is actually A Thing. Like, actually something that is Scottish. And that we eat.
As part of a prior job, I hosted some visitors to Edinburgh, many of whom had never been in Scotland. And it was a
wee big bit of a shame pain in the ass that so many of them said the thing they were most looking forward to was getting a deep-fried feckin Mars Bar. Twuntery.
It’s become Scottish because of it being bandied about in the media implying “oooh, look at them fat Scottish folk who deep fry everything! Chortle, chortle. Arf, arf!” A good friend informed me that a feature on Newsnight on the general election featured Glasgow and showed an image such as the one above! FFS.
So, this is first of (probably) many posts on the subject of Things That Are Not A Thing in Scotland – but have become A Thing. And that piss me off.
On another note before I finish, please DO NOT think I am naive to think that we Scots do not enjoy a plethora of deep fried goods in chip shops. Many of these are a TOTAL Thing. So, if you’ll forgive a digression (of course you will, you lovely lot) here are three of my favourite “deep fried goods” stories:
- My first (and only) experience of the “Cheese n’ Burger”. Now, this is a beef burger, with cheese in the middle (no, hang on, not “cheese” as such – fake cheese, like the radio-active coloured stuff that sticks to the roof of your mouth and makes you panic that you’re going to choke), then dipped in batter and deep fried (natch) – and thrust lovingly into a morning roll. Now, this was back in 1999 but – to the best of my memory – it was bloody tasty. But – more significantly – it was the day of my very first football match! Easter Road: Hibs V Rangers. Ahhh memories. Mainly of Lorenzo Amoruso’s arse (excuse me while I have a moment to myself…). Not that I’ve been to many matches since: despite my proximity to the Easter Rd stadium, I’ve been only a handful of times (I get pissed off that I don’t know the words to the chants – that and the fact that watching football in the pissing rain is a bit shite…). Anyway – that was the Cheese n’ Burger.
- The chippy at Tollcross, Edinburgh circa 1998. Was it called the Capital? The Central? Cannae mind. Anyway, I lived near there at the time and en route back from boozing somewhere or other, I popped in for a bag of the good stuff (chips, not cocaine – although, if I’d asked around I’m sure the latter could have been available) and – I swear to the God of all that is good and pure – in that see-through hot display of stuff (that drunk people lean on and burn themselves, despite the wee sign that says “don’t lean on this!”), there it was: a deep fried SCOTCH EGG. I’ll just leave that one with you. Incidentally, that was also the time (in the chip queue) that a scary man asked me if I was “available for the night”. To this day, I like to believe it was a language barrier issue as opposed to him thinking I was a prostitute. The jury’s out. Suffice it to say, I was “not available”.
- One of my favourite chippy / deep fried foods – related memories. I was still at uni in Glasgow (so we’re talking 1996-ish) myself and my flatmate (aka excessive boozing buddy) went to the King’s Cafe (which – by the way – I think has GONE! I walked passed the other week 😦 ) and I asked for the usual post midnight snack – a roll n’chips – and was promptly informed that they had “nae rolls left” but they could provide me with a “croissy n’ chips”. Yes. A CROISSANT stuffed with chips. For. The. Win.
Bottom line: Scottish cuisine is – in many ways – utterly superb. And I genuinely get peeved to think that the Deep Fried Mars Bar is considered part of that.
A croissy n’ chips on the other hand. Get involved.