food

"Unpopular opinion: hot cross buns should be sold all year 'round."

Hot cross buns have been spotted in Aussie supermarkets just two days after Christmas, and a lot of people are predictably outraged about it.

But I, for one, am thrilled.

Hot cross buns are my favourite breakfast pastry and I resent the fact I am restricted in my consumption of them by those who claim they should only be eaten at Easter.

It’s not like we’re talking about Easter Eggs here (which, I confess, I sometimes buy and eat before the Easter weekend).

"If it were up to me, hot cross buns would be sold all year." Image: iStock

The fact these buns have a cross on the top of them shouldn't dictate when they can be eaten. If people are religious and feel the cross implies certain rules around when and where they can be eaten, that's their choice.

I am pretty relaxed in my religious views, clearly, and the marking on top of the hot cross bun holds no power over me. I am a good person. I donate to charities. I observe religious holidays. The fact that I eat these 'Easter' treats all year around doesn't make me a bad person.

I keep up my hot cross bun habit by purchasing bags and bags and bags of them and putting them in the freezer, thus ensuring months of delicious, hot, toasty, buttery, breakfasty goodness. When I run out I switch, reluctantly, to fruit toast.

However, I have discovered a company that sells them all year around and call them Not Cross Buns. They just leave off the cross from the top and ta-da! A delicious, secular, food. And another company sells them all year around by doing the exact same thing, removing the cross and calling them Fruit Buns.

My family buys Hot Cross Buns as soon as we see them. Image: Provided
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I just don't see why it's such a big deal.

Traditionally, Hot Cross Buns are meant to be eaten on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent, a period of time Christians choose to give up a food to commemorate Jesus' 40-day pilgrimage in the dessert before he began his work. The cross on top represents his crucifixion, the spices in them in memory of the spices used to embalm his body.

But there are lots of traditions we no longer observe.

Plus, if you apply strict rules on the consumption of Hot Cross Buns based on their religious significance, then we should place the same strict rules on the consumption of pancakes, which are eaten on Shrove Tuesday in Christian faiths. This happens the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent.

Wine is consumed during mass and we still drink that most days. (Post continues after gallery.)

Like many beliefs surrounding Hot Cross Buns, the idea that they should only be eaten in the lead up to Easter needs to be abandoned.

Along with the belief that they don't ever go mouldy.

Or that eating a piece of them can cure illness.

Or that placing them on a boat during a sea voyage protects against sea wrecks.

Or that hanging one in your kitchen prevents fires.

Easter Eggs can wait their turn, although I did notice quite a few faux-Easter eggs around Christmas in the form of chocolate teddy bears and Santas. And they weren't subjected to the same backlash hot cross buns have been today.

Just give it up.

Grab yourself a pack, toast one up, slather on butter, make a cup of tea and just chillax.

Where do you stand on the sale of hot cross buns? Is there such thing as 'too soon'?

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