|Place of origin||England|
|Region or state||Bristol|
|Main ingredients||Yeast dough, dried fruit, candied peel, sweet spices|
|Cookbook: Colston bun Media: Colston bun|
A Colston bun is a sweet bun made of a yeast dough flavoured with dried fruit such as currants, candied peel, streusel and sweet spices. It is made in the city of Bristol, England, and named after the local 17th and 18th century merchant trader Edward Colston, who created the original recipe. It comes into two size categories: "dinner plate" with eight wedge marks on the surface and "ha'penny starver", an individual sized bun.
The Colston Bun is traditionally distributed to children on Colston Day (13 November), which celebrates the granting of a Royal Charter to the Society of Merchant Venturers by Charles I in 1639. The custom originated from the Colston's School, which was established for poor children in the early 18th century. Originally, the child would receive a large "dinner plate" bun with eight wedge marks so that individual portions could be broken off and shared with their family, plus a "staver" which could be eaten immediately to "stave off" hunger, and a gift of 2 shillings (now 10p) from the wives of the Merchant Venturers. The gifts of buns and money are still distributed to some school children in Bristol on Colston Day by the Colston Society.
Colston Buns are not widely known outside of Bristol, and are generally only available for sale on occasion in independent bakers around the city. In the 21st century, the name has become controversial as Edward Colston was known to have strong ties to the slave trade despite contributing to the welfare of those in Bristol, which conflicts with modern values.
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