Sunday, January 6, 2013

a late night, deep-fried, treat

Before my departure to Edinburgh, a colleague asked me if I was going to have a fried mars bars during my visit. After querying the validity of his question and being assured it is a near delicacy in  Scottish world views, I added it alongside haggis as a list of foods I needed to try.

Upon arriving at the doorstep of my friends' apartment, which they had moved into from the US two weeks prior, I asked if they had heard of fried mars bars. Although intrigued, neither Travis nor Natalie had heard of such a delight in their short amount of time in the country. And then, we subsequently forgot all about it.

That is until the last few hours of my last night in the city. For, while browsing through a store, on the wall was a poster-sized recipe to create your own fried mars bar. I immediately turned to an attendant and asked where we could eat such a thing.

In his thick Scottish accent, the same accent the three of us had spent the weekend imitating, I heard him say "at a chipchop".

"A what?" I asked.

"A chipchop," I again heard him say. He went on to explain the location of said 'chipchop' on the neighboring street.

We wandered the street to no avail, but before desisting went into a hotel to ask an all-knowing concierge. The concierge was knowledgable in all things... except fried mars bars. After consulting with a few other colleagues, he came to the conclusion that we should go to a 'chipchop' (his words) around the corner.

Baffled as to what a 'chipchop' was and the lengths we were going just to find a grease laden candy bar, I was ready to abandon the entire mission. But Travis' peaked curiosity urged me to soldier on. I wandered into every food establishment we passed. Three fast food venues in a row I was told they didn't serve such things, but to go to a 'chipchop'.

If only I knew what a 'chipchop' was!

My answer came by way of a convenience store owner after I asked, once more, where I might find a fried mars bar.

"Well, love," he said, "you'll find one at a fish and chip shop."

Chip shop! A fish and chip shop! Of course.

We hopped into the next 'chipchop' we found. The smell of oil permeated the air. It was so strong, we agreed, the men behind the counter must have it oozing out of their pours once they go home each night.

Nevermind, I thought, it's about the artery clogging dessert that I came to try, not what my clothes will smell like once I leave. I reached the counter and asked for a fried mars bar.

"We don't have any," the employee stated.

"What?! No fried mars bar?? This is a 'chipchop', right?" I inquired.

"You didn't let me finish," he replied. "We don't have them, but if you bring me some, I'll fry them up for you."

My eyes widened in excitement.

"And if you smile nice, I'll fry them for free," he added.

I flashed him my best cheesy smile and together with Travis and Natalie, flew across the street to the grocery store, seconds away from closing for the night.  I purchased two mars bars to be battered and fried... in undoubtedly weeks old oil.


Donna Bardsley said...

And was it good? Because it doesn't look all that appetizing...

claireb said...

It tasted better than it looked! But that doesn't mean I'd ever have it again...