Mention the term "fairy bread" to an Australian, like star chef Curtis Stone, for example, and he'll instantly light up with nostalgic childhood memories of this three-ingredient rainbow food that existed way before the recent era of rainbow bagels, grilled cheese sandwiches and burgers.
After a recent article by American food site Epicurious suggested that fairy bread should be made with fancy ingredients and is eaten regularly as a breakfast, snack or dessert, there was a huge Aussie backlash. Let's just say it hasn't been all rainbows and sunshine.
To get the real deal on this misunderstood food, we went to Curtis Stone, one of our favorite Australian chefs and a regular contributor to TODAY Food. Take it away Curtis!
What is fairy bread?
Put simply, fairy bread is sliced white bread with a generous spread of butter and sprinkles sprinkled over the top. Down under in Oz, sprinkles are commonly known as 100s and 1000s because there must be 1000s of those damn sugary little balls in every packet.
What's your ultimate version of fairy bread?
I don't think there is any way you can really fancy up fairy bread. I can¹t imagine eating sprinkles on, say, a nice loaf of sourdough. I think the softness and fluffiness of the white bread contrasting against the gentle sugary crunch of the sprinkles is what it is all about.
When is fairy bread eaten?
In my experience, fairy bread is a treat for kids and is usually eaten at parties and special occasions. I¹d be worried if a child was eating fairy bread everyday for their school lunch.
Did you grow up having a lot of fairy bread in Australia?
Fairy bread was served at every birthday party I went to as a kid growing up in Melbourne. I can picture it now: fairy bread served up on a big plastic plate, placed next to an overflowing bowl of Cheezels, a platter of party pies and sausage rolls, and a bottle of Coke! I think parents are a little more health-conscious now, even when hosting children's parties, and realize that healthier bites like fruit kebabs and rice paper rolls can be kind of fun too.
Do adults eat it or just kids?
It's a colorful, sugary treat for kids, but I guess some big kids could be into it too.
Have you ever served it to you own family?
It's not my first choice of treat to serve to my kids, but for the sake of introducing my boys to some good down-home Aussie traditions I wouldn't be totally opposed to introducing them to it.