A former chaplain to the Queen has called alternative fillings in hot cross buns “the devil’s work” as supermarkets stock creative twists on the traditional treat.
The alternative buns come with a selection of new flavours, including salted caramel, cheese and chocolate.
Dr Gavin Ashenden, who served at St James’ Palace for almost 10 years, says that it’s “no accident” that the delicacy has been “warped”.
The buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday; Dr Ashenden claims that the new recipes are “enlarging appetites” instead of reminding people of the importance of Christ, and his suffering on the cross.
The cross on top of the bun is symbolic of Christ’s death, and the spices are believed to symbolise the balm used.
However, Ashenden says that the meaning extends further. He states that the symbolism of the buns is a matter of “multi-layered importance”, and added that Christians were “sad that the symbolism has been lost, but it’s also the loss of the narrative of the struggle”.
“Hot cross buns stand for the struggle for the world as it is and as the world as we want it to be. We are making a lot of money out of exacerbating those appetites.”
Many of the big-name chains are stocking alternative hot cross buns; Tesco has just announced six new flavours will soon be taking to the shelves.
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