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The Pineapple Bun - An Iconic Hong Kong Delight

Hong Kong pineapple bunApart from egg tarts, the pineapple bun is another popular baked treat in Hong Kong.  A kind of sweet roll that is believed to have originated in Hong Kong, the ubiquitous pineapple bun is characterized by slightly crusty and sweet top that resembles the pineapple's patterned skin. Beneath the top is a softer, fluffier and slightly sweet bread. It is a popular fare for breakfast and afternoon tea.

The traditional version of the pineapple bun does not contain pineapples. Its name was derived mainly from its appearance. Its Cantonese name bo lo baau, came from "bo lo" which means "pineapple" while "baau" refers to a kind of bun-like item in Chinese cuisine.

Pineapple buns are served in many Hong Kong restaurants and even in dai pai dongs. A variation of this bread called boh loh yaau or "buttered pineapple bun", is considered a comfort food. It is simply a pineapple bun sliced in half and served with a thick slab of butter inside. It is criticized by health buffs because of its high fat and cholesterol content.

Other variations of the pineapple bun use other fillings instead of butter such as custard cream, barbecued pork, red bean paste and sweetened shredded coconut. Cost of a bun ranges from HK$3.5 to HK$6 and can be bought from most bakeries in Hong Kong. Kam Wah Cafe at Bute Street in Prince Edward, Kowloon is one of the most popular venues serving pineapple buns.

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