1 March 2024

When it comes to hot cross buns, is nothing sacred?

| Sally Hopman
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Packets of fairy bread hot cross buns

Who comes up with these ideas – maybe the tooth fairy? Fairy bread hot cross buns. Photo: Woolworths.

It’s bad enough that hot cross buns rise in supermarkets before Santa has even left the chimney – after all, he leaves presents.

But when said buns appear on the shelves complete with hundreds and thousands and icing, claiming to be fairy bread, you have to ask, is nothing sacred?

Fairy bread is in a class all its own – and we’re talking way beyond kindergarten here. It is a staple, a balanced food group what with its grain (from the bread bit), vegetables (the green hundred and thousands), almost-dairy (from the icing) and other unmentionables, including something called Funfetti that sounds like it clearly sprinkles good health about. (Helpful hint: Don’t look at the rest of the ingredient list on the packet, it could well make you heave – ho ho ho.)

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Hot cross buns should lead their own, simple, lives. Just come out after Christmas, lob on to the supermarket shelves, and be done with it.

Spread yourself about with butter, if you must. People who would not normally eat a bun, let alone one with a cross across it as if it’s done something wrong, eat them as if they’re er, hot cakes, because of the clear religious experience guaranteed with every bite.

Who comes up with these ideas? In a media release announcing the fairy bread hot cross buns – yes they put out a media release like there’s nothing else in the world worth reporting on – a leading supermarket chain quoted its “hot cross bun expert and bakery merchandise manager” as saying: “This week we’ve come out all buns glazing with the launch of our new Fairy Bread Hot Cross Bun … .

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“Our team has had some fun turning back time in developing new varieties for our hot cross bun loving customers, with one more surprise still in store later in the season. [Can’t wait for that one].

‘“Each and every year our customers show that it’s never too early for hot cross buns and we expect to sell around 1.8 million buns in this first week alone.”

But wait, there’s more. Not satisfied to cheapen the reputation of an Aussie icon like fairy bread, the sacrilege goes even further. In its Delicious magazine, Woolworths provides a recipe for, wait for it, Iced Vo Vo hot cross buns, going as far as to say you don’t even have to wait till Easter to eat them. Wise stuff.

After all those fairy bread ones, you’re unlikely to be thinking straight – that is if you’ve come out of your sugar coma.

Iced Vo Vo? Seriously. Next thing you know they’ll make Vegemite hot cross buns. (Editor: Been there, baked that.) Chocolate? (Ditto. Dark or milk chocolate?) At least they’d never make them without the fruit – I mean that’s what makes them so healthy. (Think again). Lamington ones? (Yep). Also heard an urban kitchen myth that there was a savoury cracker one. Sweet. Not.

But if it’s any consolation, the fairy bread ones are advertised as being available “for a limited time only” – probably means until next Christmas.

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Tristram Lennard12:52 pm 11 Feb 24

Hahahaha! The pearl clutching horror has barely died down after the cooker conspiracy theorists saw the rainbow cupcakes (that they assert are designed to groom children – or instantaneously turn them gay), Woolies releases FAIRY bread hot cross buns!

Woolies has to be trolling the Loon Platoon with these!

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