Easter around the world

Each year in the UK we munch our way through a whopping 80 million Easter eggs. And it’s not just chocolate eggs, but hot cross buns and Simnel cake too. But other countries have their own ways of celebrating Easter, as we will see here. And food plays a big part in the proceedings.

A whole new level

Eggs are synonymous with Easter. This is supposedly because they represent the tomb from which Jesus emerged following his crucifixion and resurrection. However, the villagers of Bessières in south west France take their egg consumption to a whole new level. Each year on Easter Monday they cook a giant omelette using 15,000 eggs in a four-metre diameter frying pan!

Sweet treats

Most Easter foods are sweet treats such as the Simnel cake we enjoy in the UK. This contains dried fruit, candied peel and marzipan. The 11 marzipan balls on its topping represent the 11 apostles (minus Judas), linking it to the Christian tradition. In Russia, a popular Easter dessert is Pashka, made from cottage cheese, candied fruit and nuts. The name of the dish comes from Pascha, the Eastern Orthodox celebration of Easter. It is often decorated with the letters XB, meaning “Christ is risen”.

A popular tradition

A popular Easter tradition in Italy is the Colomba di Pasqua, or Easter dove bread, which is similar to panettone. As the name suggests, it is made in the shape of a dove to signify peace, and it is flavoured with candied orange peel and dried fruit, then topped with sugar and almonds.

Capirotada, or Mexican bread pudding, is traditionally served on Good Friday and the ingredients are said to represent elements of the crucifixion. The bread symbolises the body of Christ, and the syrup represents his blood. The cinnamon sticks signify the cross and the cloves represent the nails.

Something a bit healthier?

If all these sweet cakes and breads seem a little unhealthy, then you might want to try the German tradition of Gründonnerstag, or “Green Thursday”. According to this custom, you should eat something green on Maundy Thursday such as the popular dish kerbelsuppe, or chervil soup.

Hopefully this will give you some inspiration for your own celebrations. If you’re looking for inspiration for what to bake or cook this Easter, try our selected Easter recipes.


 

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