Jamaica's Easter Bun
In Jamaica, where I used to live, Good Friday and Easter Monday are public holidays, and this week and next are short ones. So it came as a shock when I moved to the States to find that Easter week is business as usual here, with no break. A decade later, I’ve grudgingly come to accept the days-off deficit. But I’m still longing for one Jamaican Easter staple: bun and cheese.
Made with flour, sugar, stout, honey and mixed fruit, the sweet spiced bun either comes in loaves for slicing or in single-serving round buns, similar in size to the English hot cross bun. Easter bun is traditionally served with pie-shaped slices of a waxy, mild-flavored tinned cheese, specifically Tastee brand of “pasteurized processed cheese spread,” made in Jamaica from New Zealand cheese.
I’m a proud cheese snob, so I eschew Tastee’s “cheese” for a sharp English cheddar, and I prefer my bun toasted. The crisped slices of hot bun studded with soft sweet pieces of mixed fruit contrast nicely with the buttery smooth texture of the melted cheese that oozes from between the slices. It’s a snack that’s truly ...well ... divine.
I may have learned to live without my four-day weekend, but as far as I’m concerned, an Easter without bun and cheese is no Easter at all.