We had wonderful friends over for afternoon tea on the weekend and they kindly brought with them a fresh, delicious, iced Sally Lunn bun to share. Over our cuppa, we pondered how the yummy treat got its nifty name…
After doing some digging, we’ve learned the Sally Lunn bun is not a kiwiana baking treat at all. We all thought the Sally Lunn was uniquely New Zealand but no, the Sally Lunn originated in England with a French twist (now we know why it tastes so good!). New Zealanders however added the lemon-y coconut icing and the sultanas.
A Sally Lunn is a type of yeast bread originating from Bath in England, the recipe for which is said to have arrived with a French immigrant in the 17th century.
A Sally Lunn bun is often lightly scented with lemon, traditionally served sliced horizontally, spread with butter or whipped or clotted cream and reassembled.
The recipe for this bun is said to have originated in Bath with the arrival in 1680 of a French immigrant called Solange (Sollie) Luyon who brought her native baking skill and worked at a Bath bakery – this bakery is now known as Sally Lunn’s house and can be visited today with the original recipe buns available for sale or consumption in the dining rooms.
Sally Lunn is a corruption of her name and the bun became a very popular delicacy in Georgian England as its taste and lightness allowed it to be enjoyed with either sweet or savoury accompaniments.
It remains a locally produced speciality in the 21st century with imitations throughout the English speaking world.