Did You Know…Hot Cross Buns

Eating small spiced fruit buns on particular religious holidays has occurred for thousands of years and for a myriad of different deities, however, it seems to have become a tradition associated with Christianity during the rule of the Tudor dynasty. Sometime during Tudor rule it was made illegal for bakers to sell the spiced buns, however, in 1592, due to their popularity, Elizabeth I relaxed the ban on the buns, allowing the sale of them on Christmas, Good Friday and for funerals.  Why was it forbidden? Because Protestants held the belief that the buns were baked from the same ingredients as Communion Wafers and therefor was a continued tradition of the Catholic faith. Even so, there’s no mention of the buns bearing their trade mark cross, their reference to Jesus, until 1733 where it’s written in Poor Robin’s Amanack “Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs, with one or two a penny hot cross buns”. It’s safe to say that the buns were probably scored with a knife to bear the cross symbol associating them with Christianity before this time, there just hasn’t been a physical record of it uncovered as yet.




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