Friday, April 6

Hot Cross Buns

Dad knocked on my bedroom door this morning to offer my hot cross buns for breakfast - I was trying to still be asleep, but quickly gave up that idea and joined him and Kate for toasted buns for breakfast. Although there are many more things I could be doing now, I decided to have a quick look into the background of hot cross buns at Easter/Good Friday. My friends currently in the US said they don't have any hot cross buns there, and not really any eggs - and some strange candy. I still have to buy Easter eggs for people - although I do partly object to the commercial aspect. Also a friend of mine won't buy chocolate unless its fair trade - and I couldn't find any fair trade Easter chocolate... I have to decide what I'll get (may depend on whats left!!)

But back to the hot cross buns... Many recipes say the cross on the top is icing, but in most shop ones I've had its just white stuf. This is clearly symbolic of Jesus being put on the cross. From a very brief amount of reading on the internet, they seem to have an English heritage. Apparently first recorded mention is in 1733, however some people claim there are pagan origins. It seems that recently in the UK, several schools banned serving hot cross buns out of political correctness. The most bizarre triviva I found was that there is a pub in East London (The Widow's Son pub in Bromley-by-Bow) where in the 19th century, the widow who lived there put out a hot cross bun out on good friday her son - a sailor expected to return that day. Sadly he didn't, however the tradition has continued and a sailor still puts out a hot cross bun every year.

I found this blog post 'hot cross buns' which is part of 'The Old Foodie' - a blog with a recipe and some historical significance for linked with every day of the year. While I didn't get around to making any hot cross buns this year (I've said before that I will one day) I have friends that make lots and do a 'bun-run' each year - very impressive I say! But watch out- Diabetes New Zealand has warned of the health risks - one bun is equivalent to 2 or 3 pieces of bread and they should be considered a treat not a meal... I guess breakfast and lunch might be a treat today!!

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