Bun and cheese is as integral to the Jamaican Easter experience as attending church on Good Friday and/or Easter Sunday. There are several different brands of bun on the shelf every year, and some people prefer to make their own. Whatever the case, we consume them with gusto; however, most Jamaicans have no idea how the tradition came about.
In the beginning
The Jamaican Easter bun is a descendant of the hot cross bun from Britain (pictured above). These buns were traditionally eaten on Good Friday, with the cross symbolising the crucifixion of Jesus. The tradition made its way to Jamaica when they colonised the island in the mid-1600s. Over time, the bun transitioned from the round-ish shape into a loaf, molasses was substituted for honey and dried fruits were added to the batter to make it uniquely ours – and no doubt, much yummier.
No one is sure how cheese was added to the mix, but we’re not going to question the matter, because the combination just works!
Take a look at our Easter cookbooks for recipes you can try to make your own buns this season.