The Deep-Fried Candy Bar That's The Unofficial National Dish Of Scotland

National dishes are some of the most exciting things we can find out about a specific country. Tastessence reports that these dishes hold a crucial part of the country's culinary and cultural identity. And in many cases, they showcase some of the best local ingredients a country has to offer. 

In Australia, it's a meat pie, typically filled with gravy, cheese, and ground meat. In Austria, it's the Wiener schnitzel, a veal cutlet that's breaded and fried in butter. Canadians adore poutine, a combination of french fries, gravy, and cheese curds. And some countries, such as Italy, don't have just one national dish — there are just too many regions and specialty dishes to choose only one that will represent the whole country. Who could pick only one? 

Some countries have unofficial national dishes as well, such as the Kenyan nyama choma and the Singaporean black pepper crab (per DBE National). But there's more — the beautiful country of Scotland also has an unofficial national dish, and it's one of the most unusual foods you can try.

Mars bars are dipped in batter and deep-fried in hot oil

The Scottish people must have some kind of a love affair with their deep fryers. How else would you explain the need to deep-fry just about every edible thing you can think of? Deep-fried pizza is served with brown sauce or salt and vinegar, while the deep-fried cheeseburger consists of a beef patty and a slice of cheese that are battered and fried without a bun (that's what the fried batter is there for). Don't worry; there are other deep-fried foods in Scotland, such as Cadbury chocolate eggs and the country's unofficial national dish: the glorious (and probably heart-attack-inducing) deep-fried Mars bar (per Anglotopia). 

Yes, Mars bars are dipped in batter, fried in hot fat or oil, and then served to hungry guests who like their food sweet and very unhealthy (per Glasgow School of English). The Culture Trip reports that the calorie-laden snack was invented in 1995 in Stonehaven's The Haven Chip Bar (now called The Carron). Interestingly, the Mars bars were initially dipped in the same batter that's used for making fish and chips. 

While this snack is sticky (and terribly unhealthy), the fact remains that it's one of Scotland's culinary symbols.