Counting Calories in Scotland

Glasgow holds the dubious honour of being the heart attack capital of Europe. Once upon a time, you could have blamed the humble chip for this record, but the Scots love for frying everything in sight has now extended to include such things as the fried Mars Bar, served with tomato sauce!

Counting Calories in Scotland

Food Facts

Tastes: Deep fried, seafood and hearty beefs and meats 
Top Dish: 
Haggis – the ‘kitchen sink’ of meat dishes – if you can stomach it
Serving Suggestion:
 A fried haggis and chips wrapped in paper from the local fish & chip shop, with a fried mars bar for afters washed down with a can of Iron Bru fizzy pop

Fried Mars Bar

Glasgow holds the dubious honour of being the heart attack capital of Europe. Once upon a time, you could have blamed the humble chip for this record, but the Scots love for frying everything in sight has now extended to include such things as the fried Mars Bar, served with tomato sauce! Word has it that this phenomenon has been so successful that other chocolate bars are now being fried, with snickers, kit kats and Cadburys creme eggs being popular choices.

The origin of this ‘delicacy’ is still shrouded in mystery but it is thought to have developed in Scotland’s northeast, around Stonehaven.

These un-healthy habits are part of the reason why the Health Education Board for Scotland launched a TV advertising campaign to re-educate the Scottish people of the value of eating healthy food. This campaign has even relied on Scottish celebrity chefs like Nick Nairn to convince the Scottish people to shun the fried mars bar in favour of a healthy salad.

However, if you lack a basic regard for your health you may want to try one of these. I can’t say we didn’t warn you, but here is the recipe

Recipe for Deep Fried Mars Bar:

½ cup sifted flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup cold water
Pinch baking powder
2 Mars Bars
Shortening or oil for frying

Method:

1.
Thoroughly mix flour, salt, and water. Let this batter stand at room temperature 20-30 minutes.

2.
Add the baking powder to the batter. Place shortening or oil in a deep fat
fryer and begin heating over high heat.

3.
Dip the Mars Bars into the batter, draining off the excess.

4.
Fry in 375F fat (hot) until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel.

Haggis

You have to feel sorry for the Haggis. It is a dish that has a bad reputation; most people know about it, few want to try it. It contains heart, lungs and liver (sometimes with tripe and chitterlings), minced with oatmeal and suet, then seasoned and boiled like a large sausage in the stomach of the animal (usually a sheep). On paper it doesn’t sound too appetising, but many Scots will swear by it and its hearty and spicy.

Thankfully, most Scots only cook up a Haggis on limited occasions. Haggis is typically served onBurns Night, January 25, when Scotland celebrates the birth of its greatest poet, Robert Burns, born in Ayrshire in 1759. This celebration involves readings of Burns’ poems, especially ‘Address to a Haggis’, which each person reads a verse to the Haggis. Besides eating the Haggis, the meal would also include Tatties-an-‘Neeps (mashed potatoes and Swedes/Turnips), Roast Beef, Dunlop cheese, and Scottish Whisky.

Whiskey (Scotch)

Scotland’s national drink dates back to around the 15th century, in Gallic they call it Ooshkabae, which means ‘water of life’. If the liquor is from Scotland than typical it will be spelt without the ‘e’ – Whisky. The Isle of Islay is famous for its own variety, which is a little bit peaty and more smokey. Scottish whisky’s distinctive taste comes from malted barley. The barley is soaked and dried in a kiln over a peat fire, mixed with water, and then left to ferment. The weak alcoholic solution or wart, is then distilled and matured in oak barrels for 3-30 years. This process hasn’t changed in hundreds of years. Down it or savour it with a ‘Slangeva’, Gaellic for cheers.

More Information

Deep-fried Mars bars: A symbol of a nation’s diet?
Information about the best and worst Scottish food and drink

The Truth about those Scottish Clichés
Here is an informal look at five common clichés about Scots

The Scotch Whisky Association 
Comprehensive overview on everything about Scottish Whisky

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