Life Eat & Drink American magazine gets Aussie fairy bread very wrong

American magazine gets Aussie fairy bread very wrong

Fairy bread as it should be (minus the crusts). Photo: Pinterest
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The beauty of fairy bread is its simplicity.

But US magazine Epicurious doesn’t seem to have received that memo, publishing a piece suggesting the childhood party food is made with (preferably homemade) cultured butter and crusty sourdough, and frequently eaten by adults.

In the post, published on Tuesday, writer Katherine Sacks makes another grievous error in claiming that Australians sometimes substitute the snack for their morning Weetbix.

The butter-to-sprinkles ratio is way off. Photo: Epicurious
The butter-to-sprinkles ratio is way off. Photo: Epicurious

According to Sacks, “Fairy bread, which Aussies also call ‘Fairy Toast’ [No, Katherine]” isn’t “considered fancy food”.

“It is usually eaten as breakfast, as a snack in between meals, or after dinner to finish off the meal.”

Sacks also says she can see fairy bread “being popular at weddings”.

Her recipe is very different to the commonly used Australian one.

To make the mythical breakfast food, Sacks suggests using “a nice cultured butter” or “making [your] own”.

Pictured in the article is a loaf of crusty, artisan bread sitting on a vintage wooden board – a far cry from spongey, crust-free Wonder White, an absolute requirement for successful fairy bread.

And, if for some reason you’ve never tried the sweet treat, look no further than Sacks’ inspiring description.

“The sprinkles are sweet, the butter is creamy, and the bread is, well, bready, and everybody loves that.”

This artisanal bread is more likely to cut children's mouths than please their tastebuds. Photo: Epicurious
More likely to cut kids’ mouths than please their tastebuds. Photo: Epicurious

For the Epi-curious readers …

We compiled a list of fairy bread facts for Australians and American alike who want to know more about the fabled kids food.

It may have originated down south: The first recorded mention of fairy bread was in the Hobart Mercury in the 1920s. The paper mentioned it being eaten at children’s parties (not for breakfast).

The name dates back to a poem: The term fairy bread has been traced back to Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem of the same name in A Child’s Garden of Verses. The author was also responsible for Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

We’re not the only country that eats it: In the Netherlands, hagelslag is a popular treat actually eaten for breakfast or after meals as a dessert. The biggest difference? It’s completely normal for adults to eat this fairy bread alternative.

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