Posted by: scribe9 | March 17, 2010

Along the bunny trail

I must admit that I’ve seen various styles of hot cross buns in the US. I’ve even made three different kinds, but none with the lemon crosses the local bakery used to add. Mine were all pretty much in the same vein, with raisins or candied fruit or both.

I’ve checked the bakeries here, and haven’t been able to find any. The only ones I’ve seen have been in grocery stores, six or nine to a bag. None have frosting; the white crosses are made of thin strips of dough. Some buns have raisins, some have candied fruit and raisins, some have no fruit, and some have extra fruit (those are square). And some are chocolate or mocha. Yup, you read that right. I guess it stands to reason–New Zealanders drink a lot of coffee (most of it European-style, and in porcelain cups, but I digress) and eat vast quantities of chocolate, so why not combine them in a seasonal treat?

Cadbury has gone even further: it makes chocolate-coated marshmallow hot cross buns (although I wouldn’t want to heat or eat one). It also makes all of its chocolate-bar flavors in egg shapes, and chocolate bunnies, as do other candy manufacturers.

I’m happy to report that I haven’t seen any three-foot-tall pre-wrapped “Easter baskets” full of toy guns or sporting equipment or dress-up accoutrements. It’s not that New Zealanders are hyper-religious (I get the feeling that Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays out of tradition, and the tradition is now to have a four-day weekend in early fall), but that they haven’t succumbed to rampant consumerism yet.

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