October 24, 2009
Scotland: A bonnie place indeed…
Scotland was one of the few places that I was absolutely dying to go see. Even though I truly loved visiting England, France, and Italy, there was a calling inside of me to go to Scotland. Ever since I can really remember, I have had a love and longing to visit the place where my family has so much ancestery. The beautiful landscapes, emerald green and undescribable in words, literally took me back to the time when I could imagine newly erected structures of stone, untouched mountainsides, and castles full of lairds and their clansmen standing watch over their land-it’s just perfection to me. Scotland is truly the place where I can look out at all of the lush greenery and see all the proof you need to know that there is a God, and He is wonderfully artistic. A land that beautiful did not just spring up out of nothing, it was masterfully and wonderfully desgined, and I was truly blessed to have laid my eyes on it during my lifetime.
There are so many wonderful places that my aunt and I got to visit, ranging from some of the most “haunted” sections of Edinburgh, to ruined castles still majestic and strong even in their current states. To see Dirleton Castle, a fortress that lasted through various attacks on its walls, and Tantallon, a beautiful coast-side stronghold still prominently watching over the waters, was just awe-inspiring. I will never forget standing in the midst of those mighty fortresses and feeling the grandeur and the history that pervaded each of them. It was absolutely amazing.
Although I could talk for hours-on-end about the beauty of Scotland, it is the food that is the focus of this blog, and therefore I am going to get back on track here. 🙂
Unfortunately, the food was not something that sparked as much admiration in me as the did the surrounding lands
and architecture. I had Italian food in Scotland, French pastries and hot chocolate, and Starbucks, all while I was in that beautiful country. Scotland is very much like England, in that fish and chips can be found anywhere, as well as all of the other bar food you can imagine. The pubs are the only places that stay open until 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, while everything else, restaurants included, tend to close around 8pm. (We got politely “shooed” out of a Starbucks because it was closing…it was a traumatic experience, but I survived).
The best meals that we had, and I think Angel would agree with me on this, were the breakfasts served at our Bed and Breakfast. We were treated to a traditional Scottish breakfast every morning, consisting of eggs, fried or scrambled, a choice of sauteed mushrooms, toast, blood sausage, bacon, and/or porridge. Top that off with some freshly made coffee and we were good to go. (The only thing that we did not order was the blood sausage. All I can say to that is gross and no thank you).
However, in spite of some pretty awesome breakfasts, it is one of Scotland’s most famous foods that I chose to blog about today. The deep fried Mars bar is something that is rumored to be sold all over Scotland. Knowing this at the onset of our trip, I asked our taxi driver about it and to my shock, found out that he had never even tried one. My initial thought after hearing his response was if this super crispy dessert item hasn’t been tried by a citizen of Edinburgh, then what kind of joke was this? Well, even though some Scots haven’t actually tried it, the deep fried Mars bar is actually served in Scotland. I actually found an article from the BBC about the prevalence of the Mars bar and the bad state of health a lot of Scots are currently in because of it and other fried foods.
You can access and read the article here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/4103415.stm
So, I made my own deep fried Milky Way, Milky Way Dark Chocolate, Snickers, and Musketeer mini bars. (You’ve got to go big with these cooking experiments people. As the phrase goes: Go big or go home-or collapse from all of your arteries becoming clogged). My experiment started off with a fairly large cooking pot with about 2 inches of Canola
Oil, heated over Medium, Medium-High heat for 5-10 minutes. I mixed together some pancake mix and dropped just a dollop into the oil to check its “hot” status, and it was ready to go. You know your oil is ready when it only takes a few seconds to fry whatever it is you’re cooking without burning it to a crisp. Disclaimer: If you try this at home-watch out! The oil will pop and if it gets on you, it will hurt. I speak from experience-watch your oil, and stand back when you (carefully) put your food in the pot to fry. Anyway, once the oil was hot enough to start frying, I dipped the candy bar minis, which I stuck in the freezer for 5 or so minutes to get a good chill on them, into the pancake mix, and then carefully put them in the oil. Within literally a second or so, the bars should start to look like a doughnut, with a light crispy coating forming around it. Once the chocolate has a light brown coating, immediately remove it from the pot with a spoon. You can serve the chocolates/candy bars plain or sprinkle them with a dusting of powdered sugar.
The end result was an alright-tasting confection that I’m sure is full of an ungodly amount of calories, even for a mini chocolate bar. It’s something that you might want to make to remind yourself of Fair-food or just to experiment with. If asked whether I would make this again, my answer would be “No.” Deep fried oreos at the Fair once in a blue moon: okay. Deep fried candy bars as a dessert option more often than a blue moon: not worth it.
Although it didn’t satisfy my tastebuds, I can say with a smile that I have made the dessert that made Scotland famous, and made it through with minimal arterial clogging.