Buns across the Atlantic
PANAMA. When I visited Toronto, Canada a few years ago I was intrigued to discover an after work rendezvous called The Chelsea Bun. In...
PANAMA. When I visited Toronto, Canada a few years ago I was intrigued to discover an after work rendezvous called The Chelsea Bun. In the entrance to the watering hole of the young sophisticates, and their imitators, hung a painting of the Chelsea Bun House, London, circa 1780. After some research I discovered that it was there that the Chelsea Bun, was invented it became a much sort after delicacy in English high society.
The establishment, located on the borders of Chelsea and Pimlico, and was in business for the best part of a century; eventually closing it’s doors in 1839.
At the height of its success in the 18th century it was frequented by high society, including Kings George II and III, who called in for a bun en route to the nearby Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens.
The Bun House was also noted for its hot-cross buns. Legend has it that on Good Friday in 1829, 240,000 hot-cross buns were sold, and crowds of over 50,000 thronged outside the shop in anticipation of delicious buns hot from the kitchen’s ovens. In today’s Pimlico there is a Bunhouse Place, which is within strolling distance of the remains of Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens.
Chelsea buns are made from enriched bread dough, filled with dried fruit, coiled into a distinctive spiral shape, and then smothered with a sticky honey glaze. Sounds good?
Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said.