Sunday, 5 April 2015

Here in England we have one Easter treat which is the Hot Cross Bun. Christians use the bun which has a cross symbol baked into it to represent the cross of christ. Elizabeth I decreed that spiced buns, like the hot cross bun, could only be eaten at Christmas or on Good Friday, and today they are only eaten at Easter. However the hot cross bun has a very long history within English culture, and pre-dates the conversion of the English from paganism to christianity. In Anglo-Saxon culture the baking of breads and pastries  was an important part our lore on hospitality - a custom shared across the Germanic world, hence there are so many styles of bread in Europe which are associated with certain holidays or religious observations. The hot cross bun is an excellent example as the bun was baked with a cross on top to form a sunwheel, a symbol used by our ancestors to mark the changing season and the strength of the sun.