Gearing up toward Easter we thought we’d revisit some of our favorite Easter traditions and foods. it seems that there are as many traditions surrounding the holiday as there are towns in the world – and even within a single town each family will have its own customs!
The Greeks certainly know how to do Easter. It is one of their major celebrations of the year. It is called “Pascha” there, and the Greek Orthodox Easter this year corresponds to the Western celebration as well. One of my favorite Greek Easter recipes is for Artos, or the Greek Easter celebration bread. My husband is part Greek, and I make it in honor of his heritage every year. It is a strangely flavored bread, with alspice, cinnamon, lemon, and almond flavors, with a honey glaze and sesame seeds sprinkled over the top. Another Greek bread I sometimes make is Lambropsomo, which is a braided bread with red colored hard boiled eggs. (I’ve also seen this bread called Tsoureki.)
Of course, another place where Easter is one of the major celebrations of the year is Italy. There Easter Sunday of course has its own traditions, but Easter Monday has always been one of my favorite Italian holidays. Called ‘Pasquetta,” or “little Easter,” it is characterized by a lot of outdoor dining with friends and extended family. (You can read more about some of my favorite Pasquetta traditions here).
What about food? Traditional items are lamb and eggs, and these can be prepared in a variety of ways. Hot cross buns are another traditional Easter bread. In the US you will often find ham on the Easter menu, but I suspect that is simply because it’s an easy dish to prepare for a lot of people (and is therefore served for many different holidays).
Looking to make something new this year for Easter? Try this Easter treat that hails from the Italian region of Molise. Called “fiadonetti,” there are probably as many versions of it as there are families in Molise!
Do you have special Easter traditions and recipes? Do you do a big American brunch, a large mid-day meal, or a special dinner?
By Peg Kern
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