Mars management beats retreat from deep-fried bar plans

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Thursday, 6 September 2012 - Matt Packer

Mutterings of EU recognition for Scotland’s cult cuisine scare off food-giant honchos, writes Matt Packer

Mars Bar

Confectionery bosses have shuffled away in embarrassment from plans to obtain an official EU honour for Scottish “delicacy” the deep-fried Mars bar.

A number of fish-and-chip shops in Scotland – spearheaded by the Carron Fish Bar – had discussed the possibility of applying for a Protected Geographical Indicator (PGI) that would certify the product as unique to the area it came from.

The Carron outlet claims to be the wellspring of the gooey dessert, which is made simply by dipping a Mars bar in batter and then plunging it into hot fat, leading to a dish that is crispy on the outside but melted in the middle. It is customary for many Scottish chippies to fry the bars in the same fat that is used for fish.

Recent UK recipients of PGIs include the Birmingham balti, the Cornish pasty and Cumbria’s own Cumberland sausage. Hopes were high that the Carron deep-fried delight would join this illustrious company.

However, before any paperwork for the PGI had been completed, managers at food giant Mars scuppered the plans and asked Scotland’s fish-and-chip shops to display disclaimers to the effect that the parent company has nothing to do with the molten mutation.

“We are really flattered that customers of Carron Fish Bar like our product so much that it has now become a flagship product for the store,” said Mars PR this week. “No application for a PGI has been filed to date. Should an application be filed, unfortunately, we wouldn’t be able to support it as deep-frying one of our products would go against our commitment to promoting healthy, active lifestyles.”

Each standard Mars bar contains 260 calories, almost 10g of fat and around 35g of sugar.

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