“Hot cross buns, hot cross buns; one-a-penny, two-a-penny, hot cross buns…”
Back in the (very) old days, you could nab not just one, but two hot cross buns for a penny – which was extraordinarily good value for the spiced and fruity treats.
Nowadays, things are very different; not only have prices rocketed, but there are so many new varieties and twists on the classic Easter recipe that it’s almost impossible to know where to begin. Should you, for example, opt for the chocolate and orange version, the toffee fudge one, or the baked apple and cinnamon makeover edition?
We’re here to help; the answer is, quite simply, none of the above. Because the only new-and-improved hot cross bun worth talking about is the savoury cheese and onion version that’s just hit the shelves.
That’s right; a cheese and onion hot cross bun. We’ll give you a moment to let that sink in…
The brainchild (or should that be brainbun?) of Marks and Spencer, the unconventional hot cross buns contain “a blend of two cheese with Turkish sultanas, onions and chives, with spices and a brewers paste flavoured cross”.
Yes, it sounds strange, but we initially had our doubts about the cheese scone, and look how wonderfully that turned out. All the cheesy hot cross bun needs is a lick of butter and it’s ready to go. Or, if you’re feeling brave, you could make like the experts and add a slice of cheddar and a dash of savoury Marmite to your stodgy bun, to really set your tastebuds alight.
Read more: The 10 surprising health benefits of cheese
“Adding Umami-rich elements to cheese will increase the deliciousness and mouthfulness,” said foodie Charls Michel. “In small quantities, strong-flavoured, Umami packed foods like anchovies, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and Marmite, will perfectly complement your cheese and cracker pairing.”
A pack of four will set you back £1.60 (what happened to all those tuneful promises of a two-a-penny deal?), but we guess you can't put a price on happiness. Plus, you know, it’s probably good for you; cheese is packed full of health benefits, after all.
If, for whatever reason, an ooey-gooey cheese concoction doesn’t float your boat, then don’t despair; the supermarket is also rolling out a few new flavours for all those with a sweet tooth, the most anticipated of which is the carrot cake edition.
Featuring “pieces of carrot, sunflower seeds, [and] a hint of cinnamon”, the bun rounds things of nicely with a dash of cream cheese frosting.
Excuse us, we just have to nip to the shops a second…
Images: iStock, M&S