What were M&S thinking? Had they created the new salted caramel and produced something so odd sounding that actually we'll all be living off in a few years time? Or were they just a disaster lying in wait for the poor sucker who dared to try them? Oh and how do you even serve them anyway? It's never a good sign to be thinking about something that much and not buy it, so I patiently waited to find one with the yellow reduced sticker at the end of the day.
Except that day never came, and so whilst my faith in the buns grew in line with their lack of clearance time rejection, my curiosity also surged. That was until I was perused Instagram on the train home yesterday and spotted a well-timed post from Marks & Spencer about their cheesy buns:
"M&S has launched the UK's first savoury hot cross bun. The Savoury Cheese Bun is made with a blend of two cheeses, just Turkish sultanas, onion, chives and of course traditional hot cross bun spice. It's said to be the perfect pairing of fruit and cheese and delicious stuffed with bacon for a gourmet bacon butty! #hotcross17"
I was hungry. I detoured. Oops. They were £1.70 each (I think) or 2 for £2.50.
"4 savoury hot cross buns: a blend of 2 cheeses with Turkish sultanas, onions and chives with spices and a brewers yeast flavoured cross."
As someone who can't bear the sultanas in coronation chicken (or ham and pineapple for that matter) I wasn't sure how well I'd get on with these buns. Still I shouldn't moan considering I was only recently complaining about the lack of fruit in others.
I contemplated serving it with melted cheese (but I thought it might mask the cheesiness of the bun) then considered toasting it with butter and marmite, before deciding to roll with the serving idea suggested below the very instagram post that prompted my purchase in the first place. Bacon butty time it was!
The non-toasted bun was remarkably soft, with a strong cheesy chive scent. I couldn't help but nibble the corner whilst waiting for my bacon to cook and was oddly surprised at how odd the combination of the flavours was but also how much I enjoyed it.
The decision to fill it with smoked bacon and ketchup was genius. My tastebuds enjoyed the complexity of flavours; with the spices, sultanas, cheddar and chives prevalent in every bite. I thought that perhaps one element would fight for dominance, but instead they seemed to work in harmony. The added salinity from the bacon was welcome, and I'm not sure if the bun would have have tasted too sweet without it. As for the texture of the bun, it was denser and moister than your normal cheese topped bap, but I found the soft chewiness to be extraordinarily comforting.
I think I may have found a new favourite lunch time treat, bravo M&S! Stay tuned for a review of their mini chocolate orange hot cross buns...