Food - Drink
Australian Fairy Bread Is A Whimsical Treat For All Ages
BY LISA CURRAN MATTE
Australians consider a snack called fairy bread to be a national treasure, a common thread connecting citizens across generations. It's a phenomenon rooted in childhood celebrations like birthday parties, but also equally welcome at adult shindigs, where its presence triggers a welcoming sense of nostalgia.
Fairy bread is made from just three ingredients: bread, butter, and rainbow sprinkles. Spread a thin layer of butter onto one side of each slice of cheap white bread, then sprinkle it with rainbow sprinkles — specifically 100s & 1000s, a round variety of sprinkles, if you want to be authentic — and cut the bread into four triangles.
Fairy bread has cloudy origins, with one theory claiming that it's a real-life version of a whimsical snack from Robert Louis Stevenson's poetry book "A Child's Garden of Verse." Perhaps the first real reference to fairy bread is from a 1929 article in the "Hobart Mercury," describing the menu for a children's party at a local hospital.
Regardless of theories of origin, fairy bread in its current incarnation remains firmly rooted in Australian food lore. Even celebrity chef Curtis Stone wouldn't consider messing with the recipe, saying that "The softness and fluffiness of the white bread contrasting against the gentle sugary crunch of the sprinkles is what it is all about."
While minor variations in fairy bread exist, the overall consensus is to keep it simple, which is why an American food blogger caused international furor in 2022 when they shared tips for "elevating" fairy bread. Australian culinary ace Megan Jane de Paulo said of the post, "Our reaction can only be one of shock and indignation."