Do you eat pickled fish with hot cross buns? Here’s what people have to say

This Angela Day pickled fish looks delicious, but would you dip a hot cross bun in it? Picture: Steve Lawrence

This Angela Day pickled fish looks delicious, but would you dip a hot cross bun in it? Picture: Steve Lawrence

Published Mar 13, 2024


It’s pickled fish and hot cross buns time of the year.

While a hot cross bun can be enjoyed any time of the year, it’s most popular at Easter.

But when it comes to pickled fish, many South Africans eat it on Good Friday and over the Easter weekend.

It’s believed that many South Africans enjoy eating the two treats together - but it turns out that there are some who don’t like the idea one tiny little bit.

IOL spoke to a few people to find out how they enjoy their pickled fish and whether or not they eat it with hot cross buns.

“I firmly believe that the two should not be eaten together. They shouldn't even be in close proximity to each other! The best way to eat a hot cross bun is fresh with butter or toasted with butter and cheese,” comments Shiobhan Williams.

“I am all for the pickled fish, but not with hot cross buns. I’d rather eat it with bread,” comments Rigby.

Pickled fish can be eaten on its own. Picture: Steve Lawrence

But on the other hand, there are those who ACTUALLY enjoy their fish WITH hot cross buns.

“Pickled fish with hot cross buns has been my family tradition in our household for as long as I can remember. It brings me so much nostalgia, with the scents of cinnamon and citrus that fill the home for the entire Easter celebration period,” says Nathan Pienaar.

Dumani Mtya says that while he prefers eating the fish on its own, he does enjoy it with a hot cross bun.

“I enjoy the sweetness of the bun with the vinegar in the pickled fish,” he says.

Stephen Lawrence had this to say: “Of course, you have to eat pickled fish with a hot cross bun! How else are you meant to scoop up the gravy? And don’t forget that butter on the bun is essential.”

While Bernelee Vollmer enjoys eating hot cross buns with pickled fish, she’s a not a fan of the raisins in the buns.

Some people like to dip a hot cross bun into the pickled fish, you know, to soak up the gravy. Picture: Jasmine Waheed

Then there are those who believe that the tangy fish dish should be enjoyed on its own.

“I feel like pickled fish is too rich to have with anything else. They both have unique flavours and should be enjoyed on their own. Not together!” he says Lee-Charl Fraser.

Another person who believes that the fish should be eaten on its own, is Marco Haupt.

“No! Never! They should be eaten separately. Usually, I will eat a tiny piece of pickled fish with a plate full of onions. The onions are the real kicker for me,” he adds.

IOL Lifestyle