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Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Strange Case of the Spanish Buns

Now that we are in the month of Easter and hot cross buns are in the shops, I was interested to come across this little story about the railway from Zurich to Baden,  Switzerland, built in 1847. The story goes that the citizens of Zurich were particularly fond of a delicacy made in Baden, called Spanisch Brötli , or Spanish buns. Wealthy people paid for these to be brought to them in time for breakfast which entailed suppliers making the 45 minute journey from Zurich to Baden very early in the morning. The city fathers decided that something must be done.

The subsequent building of the railway meant that suppliers were able to dispense with the need for such an early start and their wealthy patrons could still have their daily treat.

 The railway became known as the Spanisch-Brötli-Bahn and is credited with fuelling Zurich's prosperity. Today, the city is famous for its banking industry, spearheaded by the gnomes of Zurich. It's also a byword for good organisation and cleanliness. James Joyce, who greatly admired the place and is buried there, said you could eat your meals of the pavements. We don't know whether that was how he liked his Spanish buns served.

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