From weird to wonderful, the hot cross bun debate rages again


WITH Easter within sight, those divisive little squares of baked goods come out of hiding and its fans versus foes as people defend their favourite hot cross bun.

Do you serve your hot cross bun fresh, or lightly toasted, with butter, plain or with Marmite? What’s normal to one person may seem unique – or even downright distasteful – to another. It’s also time to take note of the technique that those around you choose to tuck into their hot cross bun treats – are they a slicer, a biter, or a pull-aparter? – and what this says about them.

Pick n Pay has levelled up its hot cross bun game this year following international trends for innovation in the Easter staple. In addition to familiar favourites like traditional, chocolate, extra spicy, and raisin-free, there are two Crafted Collection varieties: Pink Apple & Caramel and Honey Burst & Cranberry.

Easter treats from PnP

“We have hot cross buns to suit every budget and palate. From the timeless classics to the bold flavours of extra spicy and chocolate, and the indulgent delights of our Crafted Collection, there’s something for everyone,” says Nicki Russell, Pick n Pay’s Head of Product. “Honeyburst & Cranberry, a top-seller, is traditional with an innovative twist of marmalade in the dough. This year we have partnered with Pink Lady apples for our Apple & Caramel buns to elevate the flavour and texture.

“Our product team is dedicated to bringing the latest hot cross buns international trends to South African shoppers while keeping local preferences in mind. We eagerly await feedback from our customers every year about the flavours as we continue to push the boundaries of innovation.”

The debate about the best topping for a hot cross bun is never one that will be settled. Russell says there is one for every meal of the day. Start with a raisin-free bun for breakfast topped with egg, bacon and avocado, or an extra-spicy bun, topped with Brie and honey for lunch. For dessert, options are endless – try a chocolate bun, fried in butter or toasted in a waffle iron, topped with whipped cream and raspberries, or enhance the Pink Lady Apple & Caramel bun flavour by topping it with poached apples, ice-cream and a caramel sauce drizzle. If you are looking for the ultimate Easter dessert showstopper – impress with a Hot Cross Bombe.

With so many new varieties on shelf, and a multitude of ways to eat them, even hardened anti-hot cross bun naysayers may be tempted to change their opinion this Easter.

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