Colchester: Ancient Essex golden bun recipe to be revived for Christmas Fair

Event organisers Terry Croucher (left) and Don Quinn testing some golden buns in preparation for Su

Event organisers Terry Croucher (left) and Don Quinn testing some golden buns in preparation for Sunday's Christmas Fair.

People attending Colchester’s Christmas Fair this weekend will have the chance to taste an ancient Essex recipe resurrected especially for the event.

Each year, it is tradition that the mayor throws sweet-tasting morsels from the town hall balcony for people on the High Street below to catch. This time round Mayor Colin Sykes will be hurling golden buns to the assembled throng - a treat that has not been served in public in Essex for decades.

They contain fruit peel and a mixture of spices, including saffron - which was grown in Saffron Walden in previous centuries and is the ingredient that gives the buns their golden tinge.

Event organiser and food historian Don Quinn was handed the recipe by a local resident and thought the Christmas Fair would be a good time to bring it back.

Mr Quinn has a knack of reviving old Colchester recipes and earlier this year appeared on television with celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty to make a modern version of the Colchester Pudding.

A total of 250 buns will be baked for Sundays’s fair and are due to be distributed at 11am. To celebrate the occasion, the buns will feature a white marzipan star, except for 20 buns, which will carry a gold star. Those lucky enough to catch a bun with a gold star will be able to claim £5 from Mr Quinn who will be sporting a red top hat and moving among the crowd.

He said: “We wanted this year to be special, so when I was offered the recipe by an old Colchester resident I jumped at the chance. On Sunday, I’ll be there with a pocket full of fivers.”

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