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Chelsea bun

A pile of fresh chelsea buns from The Flour Station in London, England.

What: Created at a bakery in the Chelsea area of West London in the 18th century, Chelsea buns are made from a spiced yeast dough that’s rolled out and topped with currants, sugar, cinnamon, and butter. The dough is coiled into a spiral roll, sliced up, baked, and covered with a sweet sugar glaze. The sticky square-shaped result—a source of instant nostalgia for many a Brit—is similar to what some of us know as a cinnamon roll, with the addition of currants: sweet, buttery, and dense. In a word, delicious.

Where: Our favorite source for historic artisanal breads is The Flour Station, a wholesaler found in the Jubilee Market area of Borough Market (8 Southwark St., map), among other markets and shops.

When: The Flour Station is at Borough Market Thurs, 11am-5pm; Fri, noon-6pm; Sat, 8am-5pm.

Order: A sweet, thick Chelsea bun (£2.50) is a must, chock-full of currants and dusted with sugar. Buy one to eat with tea later, but good luck not tearing into it right away. Another good pastry here is the Eccles cake, as well as British breads like English muffins, cobs, and bloomers.

Alternatively: Fortunately, the Flour Station provides Chelsea buns and other cakes/pastries to several restaurants in London, including Jamie Oliver’s Recipease (48-50 St. John’s Rd., map) cafe and cooking school in Clapton Junction (breakfast only). In North London, try Dunn’s Bakery (6 The Broadway, Crouch End, map).


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