When we meet with Pitco customers and anyone in the foodservice industry interested in frying foods as part of our free culinary consultations, sometimes we are asked a simple yet important question. Can you deep fry candy? The answer is a resounding "yes." Before we get into the details, let's take a few steps back and take a look a the history of frying candy.
Many of us first experienced the fried Snickers bar at the local state fair or another type of festive occasion. It's kind of a classic piece of Americana, right? It's up there with bomb pops, classic cars, and Fourth of July fireworks. Well, like so many of our great American food traditions, this one didn't actually start in the United States. It started in Scotland.
The United Kingdom is most certainly the land of fish and chips, perhaps the ultimate of fried food pairings. What many don't realize is that in the mid-1990s, a third addition was added to the fish and chips combo. Created in the town of Stonehaven along Scotland's northeast coast, a man named John Davie decided to roll a Mars bar in the same type of flour batter used for deep frying his fish. Then, he dropped it in hot oil.
The practice spread, and eventually, so did the word. A reporter for the Aberdeen Evening Express in the neighboring city of Aberdeen wrote about this amazing invention on August 23, 1995. Here's the first-known review of a fried candy bar:
"HOT chocolate has become this summer’s sizzler in Stonehaven chip shop. Mars Bars, deep-fried in batter, are being snapped up by sweet-toothed teenagers."
It spread in popularity, eventually receiving coverage from the BBC and even by Jay Leno on the Tonight Show. Subsequent surveys found that nearly a quarter of all fish and chips shops in Scotland sell fried Mars bars, a number which has likely increased over the years.
But what about other types of candy?
A quick review of Google will yield many creative answers to the fried candy question. Take Starburst, for example. Some home chefs will unwrap individual pieces of Starburst candy and wrap them in a pocket of dough. Others take the macro approach and mold many pieces of Starburst into a ball, covering it in a batter. Both are dropped into a deep fryer.
With just a little creativity and the imagination of a child -- something we love to recommend here at Pitco as part of our culinary consultations -- you just might create the next, best fried-candy invention that winds up on the set of the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York. Think outside the wrapper, and you could wind up with the next hottest fried food trends.
Looking for help with your fried candy ideas? We're here for you. We love samples.