Any chipper worth his or her salt here in Dublin will do you one of these - ask for a "Battered Mars Bar". They sometimes appear on the menu as a "Mars Bar Surprise", but more often don't appear at all, and you have to ask for one specially, in a furtive, under-the-counter sort of way. Nonetheless, they can be had.

The deep fried Mars bar was invented in Hull -- I belive at the Viking Fisheries on Spring Bank, but that could be just a wicked rumour -- and appears to have been claimed by the Scots. Edinburgh in particular regards it as equivalent to haggis or salt 'n' sauce as a national foodstuff. But, as we Hullites (him and me) will not tire of telling you; we had it first.

Also existing in Australia, the deep fried Mars Bar is a Bondi Beach institution. Once battered in unflavoured batter, the chocolate and caramel are warmed to the point of becoming a semi-solid liquid, but without running together. The result is a solid yet squishy battered bar, that when bitten into, releases the flavours of the Mars Bar in a warm taste explosion.

A side effect of heating the chocolate and caramel is to release long-chain sugars, making it even sweeter than before. Combined with the comparatively savoury batter, it is an experience not to be missed.

It is also almost impossible to finish a whole one quickly. The record in Bondi is three bars eaten in one minute. The local competition had seventeen entries, and fifteen of them ultimately spewed. The remaining two gagged a lot and came close.

Actually, the true birthplace of the Deep Fried Mars Bar is the Inverbervie Chip Shop, near Aberdeen, Scotland. There is some local rivaly that muddles things slightly, with the Haven making a strong case for itself, however, it is accepted in local lore this wonderful cardio-nightmare originated at the Inverbervie.

Other things that can be found deep fried in the Aberdeen area are:

But this is an area of the world where "Chips and Cheese" is considered to fulfil one's daily requirements of the Vegetable and Dairy food groups.

This is a Mexican take on this Scottish classic that I have been fortunate enough to sample in the Acapulco restaurant in Dublin, under the evocative name Chimi-Di:

Lay the Mars Bar on the tortilla, about 1/3 of the way up from the side closest to you. Cover the top in 1 to 2 layers of banana slices.

Roll up the tortilla thus: fold the short section closest to you over the bar, then fold the sides inwards and roll the whole thing over onto the longer remaining 2/3 of the tortilla until closed.

Fry in about 1 inch of oil, seam-side down at first, until lightly golden. You're not cooking anything here, just warming it - so don't overdo it.

Drain the excess oil from the tortilla, then place in the center of a plate and smother in hot butterscotch sauce. You can also use chocolate sauce, ice cream, nuts or whipped cream - or all of the above if you're trying to commit suicide by sugar. Enjoy!

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