The Fiver: Five Foods that Scotland Will Happily Fry

It’s practically a stereotype of Scottish cuisine that if it’s not made in a sheep’s stomach, then it’s deep fried. In fact, the scientists have found the average Scot’s diet has more fat and salt, fewer vegetables, and less fruit than the rest of the United Kingdom. Your ordinary chippy in a metropolitan area might resemble a food stand at an American county fair, with the oddest foods imaginable thrown right into the fryer with the cod and chips. If you’re lucky (and happen to carry a mini-defibrillator), here’s a sampling of what you’ll find on the menu.

1. Mars Bar

t2-marsbar-fried_92115c

Other than fish and chips, this is the most widespread deep-fried food found in Scotland. Allegedly created in the Haven Chip Bar (now The Carron) in Stonehaven, it is simply a Mars bar thrown into the deep fryer and sold as a novelty item. Interestingly enough, news pieces critical of the deep fried Scottish diet that use the fried Mars bar as an example have actually helped increase its popularity. As of 2004, 22% of chip shops in Scotland sold them, while an additional 17% formerly sold them. Mars, Inc., of course, doesn’t endorse the frying of their candy bars.

2. Pizza

friedpizza

First fried back in the 1970s, deep fried pizza can come in one of two ways: either battered first (also known as Pizza Crunch) or thrown right into the fryer. You can either order them as a supper (with chips) or as a single (no chips). In Edinburgh and chippies in eastern Scotland, you can get them “with salt and sauce”, where the pizza is covered in brown sauce before being fryer, while western chippies will serve them with salt and vinegar. Author’s note: as I was thinking to myself how good it looked, I got a sharp brief pain in my chest. Most likely a warning.

3. Cheeseburger

friedcheeseburger

Yet another food that wasn’t terribly healthy to begin with, Scotland decided that it needed to be kicked up a notch to levels that would make your physician throw up a little in his mouth. I had one of these originally at a fair and I’d kind of expected a full-on cheeseburger dunked into the fryer. Disappointingly, that’s not what I received, as the deep fried cheeseburger is really just the beef patty and cheese slice battered and fried. The fried batter acts as the bun. Get yourself some ketchup and mustard to dip it in and enjoy its deliciousness.

4. Cadbury Crème Egg

friedcadbury

Cream-filled chocolate eggs first manufactured by the Cadbury Brothers in 1923, Scotland was already familiar with frying eggs in batter when someone decided that this sweet could use the Mars bar treatment and go into the fryer. Each Cardbury Egg has 150 calories on its own, but the number jumps up to 350 after frying. For added heart-attack inducement, some online recipes replicate the Scotch egg but with cookie crumbs instead of sausage. One can find them offered from New Year’s Day through Easter when the company makes the non-fried eggs available to the public.

5. Irn-Bru Battered Butterballs

friedbutterballs

Irn-Bru is a fruit-flavored soda made in Scotland since 1901, originally known as Iron Brew. It’s billed as “Scotland’s Other National Drink” (after Scotch whiskey), the soda is mixed in with the batter that coats frozen cubes of butter before being put into the fryer. The desert treat is the creation of The Fiddler’s Elbow’s head chef Simon Robertson who calls them “Braveheart Butter Balls”. Perhaps a bit fancier than some of the other entries, the pub serves it with Irn-Bru ice cream. If you think your heart can take it, be sure to find The Fiddler’s Elbow in Edinburgh and have a go.

Don’t all those look good? I think I’ll go have some, followed by bypass surgery.

Comments

  1. avatarBrittany says

    It’s deep fried butter? Ugh.
    I though the deep frying thing was just a stereotype.

  2. avatarGarry Jantzen says

    We lived in Scotland for many years – leaving in 2008. We seldom saw Mar bars at any of the chip shops we visited. It’s mostly a west coast thing. In all of the Edinburgh area (where I was born), I came across one. There may be more, but most did not offer them. OTOH – deep fried almost-almost-everything-else was popular – pizza, macaroni pies, sausages, etc. If the Scots can’t ‘pie it’ they fry it – and sometimes they pie and fry it! Because of this they have some of the most advanced heart surgery centers in the world! Lots of customers!

  3. avatarTerry M. says

    Where’s the haggis? That’s what I get when I’m in Scotland. Deep fried haggis and chips is where it’s at!

  4. avatar says

    In and around Glasgow there is NOTHING they won’t batter and deep fry, worst thing I’ve heard of is a deep fried donner kebab, supposed to be the most calorific thing you can get in Britain!

  5. avatartitch says

    Sorry to any Scots but erm….no thank you. And people slag off English food….

  6. avatar says

    I was in Scotland in the 1970’s with a young group of 22 boys to play Soccer with local teams in the Aberfoyle/ W.Linton area aka The Trossachs. The boys soon found the local Chippy,of course! They were always hungry it seemed. As New Yorkers they were fascinated with everything Scottish and no more so than what was on the menu in that Chippy: Fried Mars Bars and Deep Fried Pizza! I am sure they all tried everything on that menu at least once! I just became addicted to the Fish n Chips never did try anything else.