Food & Beverage

Is this the end of Scotland's deep-fried Mars Bar?

The Carron Fish Bar, Stonehaven

A national delicacy or dangerous health hazard? Despite raising more than a few eyebrows in both the culinary and medical industries, the deep-fried Mars Bar has become synonymous with Scottish cuisine.

But now the crispy, sickly sweet treat could be under threat.

The Carron Fish Bar in Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire, Scotland claims to be the birthplace of the world-famous snack: it even has a banner on the front of its shop highlighting this fact. However, the local council has asked shop to remove the banner, according to its owners.

"It's brings lots of people to town," Murray Watson, the manager at Carron Fish Bar told CNBC via telephone. He added that tourists visit the shop and bring money into the area. They even take their picture underneath the sign while sampling the unusual food, he added.

Scottish newspaper the Daily Record states that Carron Fish Bar, formerly called the Haven, was the place where a fish fryer was first asked by a schoolboy to batter and fry a Mars bar. That was 23 years ago and word of the snack has spread throughout the world with reports that Jay Leno even name-checked the artery-clogging snack in 2004.

However, at 1,200 calories (about half the daily recommended intake for a fully grown person), the deep-fried Mars Bar has come under attack not just for its lack of nutritional goodness but for the bad image it gives Scotland's reputation for food and health.

Watson told CNBC that the shop sells between 100 and 200 of the snacks each week and has regained popularity in the last few years. He stressed that there was no way that the shop would move the sign, indicating that the council had not given any reason for their request.

"There's no reason to move it at all," he said.

Meanwhile, Aberdeenshire Council has responded to the claims by highlighting that it had not banned the shop's banner or even ordered its removal or suggested it should be removed.

"Private property owners have been asked to consider a range of improvements," a spokesperson said in a statement, adding that it was part of a wider scheme to rejuvenate the town.

"Suggestions range from requests to remove moss and grass from roofs and gutters to requests to paint window frames, remove signs and plant flowers."

The council iterated that no property owner had been ordered to carry out any work and no action would be taken if the work is not carried out.

American confectionery manufacturer Mars is reportedly cool on the idea of the deep-fried Mars Bar and in 2012 moved to distance itself with a "disclaimer" notice in the Carron Fish Bar, according to BBC Scotland.

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