Fairy bread

Page semi-protected
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fairy bread
TypeWhite bread
Region or stateAustralia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Belgium
Main ingredientsWhite bread, butter, Hundreds and Thousands, sprinkles

Fairy bread is sliced white bread spread with butter or margarine and covered with "Hundreds and Thousands",[1] often served at children's parties in Australia and New Zealand.[2][3][4] It is typically cut into triangles.[5]


Although people had been putting hundred and thousands (or nonpareils) on bread and butter for some time, the first known reference to this dish as Fairy Bread was in the Hobart Mercury in April 1929.[6] Referring to a party for child inmates of the Consumptive Sanitorium, the article proclaimed that "The children will start their party with fairy bread and butter and 100s and 1,000s, and cakes, tarts, and home-made cakes..."[5]

The origin of the term is not known, but it may come from the poem 'Fairy Bread' in Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses published in 1885,[5] and had been used for a number of different food items before the current usage.[7]

In April 2021, the satirical group The Chaser created a fabricated online petition calling for the renaming of fairy bread, calling it "offensive",[a] which resulted in many mainstream news stories.[8]

In November 2021, a Google Doodle was created to celebrate fairy bread.[9][10]

In 2024 rumours surfaced that Fairy Bread, along with Smiley Fritz, had been banned from South Australian schools. The SA Education Department subsequently released a statement that this was not the case and that their new guidelines for school canteens were optional.[11]

See also


  1. ^ Stott Despoja, Shirley (29 March 2012). "Bread and butter and hundreds and thousands". Adelaide Review. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Christmas Dinner with the Toddlers". 15 December 1936. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  3. ^ Jacky Adams (6 February 2009). "The War Against Fairy Bread". Sydney Morning Herald.
  4. ^ Ursula Dubosarsky (2001). Fairy Bread. Mitch Vane (illus.). Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-131175-3.
  5. ^ a b c "Meanings and origins of Australian words and idioms", Australian National University. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  6. ^ "PRINCESS ELIZABETH". The Mercury. Vol. CXXX, no. 19, 177. Tasmania, Australia. 25 April 1929. p. 9. Retrieved 15 November 2022 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "Australian Food Timeline". 17 September 1920.
  8. ^ "The Chaser Tricked A Bunch Of Murdoch News Sites Into Reporting That "Fairy Bread Is Cancelled"". Junkee. 2021-04-19. Retrieved 2021-05-03.
  9. ^ "Celebrating Fairy Bread". Google. 13 November 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2023.
  10. ^ Stark, Leigh (13 November 2021). "Google's latest doodle is all about the Aussie classic fairy bread". pickr.
  11. ^ "EDUCATIONSA Education Department issues statement clarifying Fairy Bread bans following media frenzy" (13 February 2024), Glam Adelaide. Retrieved 2 April 2024.


  1. ^ In Australia and New Zealand, "fairy" is also used as a homophobic slur for a gay man. The joke is a parody on the controversial renaming of several Australian products (such as Chicos (renamed Cheekies), Coon (named after Edward William Coon, renamed Cheer) and Redskins (renamed Red Ripperz). These changes were widely perceived by many Australians as political correctness.