A CROSS-border skirmish has broken out over the deep fried Mars Bar after an English firm applied to patent the calorie-laden treat.
A London company claims its frying technique produces a tastier and healthier deep fried Mars Bar than the Scottish original.
Crispy Candy, based in Camden Market, chill the chocolate bars before frying them in batter made from buttermilk imported from the US.
They claim their dish is better than the Scottish version because it is less greasy and the Mars Bar melts inside the batter rather than being boiled.
The firm’s owner, Garry Davis, has lodged an application with the patent office in London which, if approved, would stop anyone else copying his technique.
But the Stonehaven chip shop which famously gave the world the deep fried Mars Bar has accused Mr Davis of “piggy backing” on their invention.
Mr Davis, 33, charges Londoners £3 for his deep fried bar, compared with the £1.50 typically charged north of the border.
He said: “It took us about six months to develop the perfect way of frying chocolate bars.
“We’ve taken the deep fried Mars Bar which was known as a Scottish delicacy and changed into something that is more an indulgent dessert.”
“It’s all about storing them at the correct temperature and using a different kind of batter which means that you’re left with a lovely, fluffy, gooey mouthful instead of an oil filled crispy bar that many chip shops serve.”
The Intellectual Property Office – formerly known as the patent office – is now considering application b1218841.3, which was received on October 19 2012 and concerns a “cooking method”.
Mr Davis said: “I want to protect our scientific way of making the treat instead of the actual bar itself. We’re proud of our technique.”
The Carron Fish Bar, Stonehaven, is credited with first dipping the bars in batter. Last year it ended up in a row with Mars who complained they had not “authorised” the use of their product.
Owner Lorraine Watson, who continue to sell the bars, said: “We have been serving the treat for more than 20 years now.
“Mr Davis obviously heard about our issue with Mars last year and is trying to piggyback on it.
“No matter what happens, the deep fried mars bar was born here in Scotland and is and always will be Scottish.
“The way we do it works, and will continue to be popular with everyone that visits for years to come.”
Top Scots pastry chef Mark Greenway said the English were welcome to take the deep fried Mars Bar.
Mr Greenaway, who runs a restaurant in Edinburgh, represented Scotland on BBC series the Great British Menu, said: “If this guy from London wants to claim the deep fried mars bar then is more than welcome to it.
“The sooner Scotland gets rid of this image of the deep fried bar as the national dish the better.
“We have so many other better Scottish delicacies to celebrate and that’s what we should be known for.
“The whole idea of deep fried chocolate is just strange when we have our own chocolatiers making the finest chocolate, without batter, in our own country.”