For America, t's not the hard-boiled eggs or chocolate bunnies that make the family look forward to Easter with eager anticipation - it's the ham.
Czech Republic - Veselé Velikonoce
|Irish - Cáisc
Italian - Pasqua
Latin - Pascha or Festa Paschalia
Portuguese - Páscoa
Romanian - Pasti
Scots - Pask
Spanish - Pascua
Swedish - Påsk
The English word Easter, though it has come to designate a Christian holiday, actually takes its name from the pagan festival of Eostre, goddess of spring, and has roots deep in Anglo-Saxon mythology. Easter is also timed to coincide with the Jewish feast of Passover. It comes like a breath of spring, marking the return of the planting and lambing seasons.
For the Christian world, Easter is the commemoration of Jesus's resurrection, observed on the first Sunday after the full moon following the spring equinox, which can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. But for those who love food, it is also a holiday associated with chocolate, painted eggs and big family meals. Early on Easter morning children get up and search the house for eggs and other treats left by the Easter bunny… the eggs and the rabbit itself are ancient symbols of fertility and springtime rebirth.
When bunnies lay eggs at Easter... This isn't the opening line of a fairy tale, but rather a charming tradition that delights all Austrian children on Easter morning.
After avgolemono, a rice and chicken soup thickened with egg and lemon, Cypriots like to cook souvla - large pieces of marinated lamb or pork shoulder on the bone cooked slowly on a spit.
At Easter you won't find lamb here, much less ham, but rather tender roast kid.
In Czech Republic
When it comes to Easter, Czechs stick to what they know best – their food traditions. Every day offers a different dish to sample.
The most famous dessert is mämmi, a recipe that dates back to the Middle Ages, when it was prepared in a bark container.
- In Alsace
Easter means the arrival of asparagus, morels and crayfish. It brings suckling lamb and new vegetables... Emile Jung shares some thoughts for Easter and for spring in the kitchen. On the menu: Baeckeofe and hop sprouts.
- In Bayonne
Plan to attend the ham fair, a food lover's delight from Holy Thursday to the Eve of Easter.
Though Easter eggs are most often brought by the Easter bunny, he is sometimes replaced by the hare. But in Tyrol you'll find a chicken and in the Hanover region a cuckoo… a rooster in Bavaria, and fox in Thuringia and Westphalia.
In Great Britain
Aside from eggs and chocolate bunnies, the best-known English Easter food is probably the hot cross bun.
A braided bread called tsoureki, decorated with red eggs, is served when the clock strikes midnight to announce Christ's resurrection.
Neapolitans resurrect their love for sweets with Pastiera, a pie filled with ricotta and candied fruit, while the Milanese serve bread in the shape of a dove.
Experience the age-old tradition of paczki, jam-filled doughnuts, just before Lent begins.
No "Pascoa" would be authentic without the famous "folar," a bread spiced with cinnamon and fennel seeds and garnished with hardboiled eggs.
Easter is by far the most important feast in the Russian Orthodox Church. Many of the symbols of this celebration are already familiar, like the gorgeous folk-art Easter eggs, kulich and pashka.
You should definitely try torrijas at Easter, a kind of french toast fried in olive oil, Mona de Pascua (Easter cake), Pestinos (fried pastries), rosquillas (donut), Leche frita (Fried milk)...
On Holy Thursday, the famous "Easter witches" arrive...
The Easter basket is a central part of Ukrainian Easter celebrations. In it you'll be sure to find decorated eggs and paska (a rich Easter bread), among other things.
Here white land crabs, the pride of Guadeloupean cuisine, are made into matoutou.
For most Mexicans, fish and shellfish are consumed in large quantities.
The tradition of serving a whole lamb at Easter was current until the time of France's Louis XV. Alexandre Dumas gave a recipe for Agneau pascaline à la royale. " The boned trussed lamb was stuffed with its own meat, hard-boiled eggs, bread crumbs and herbs, all seasoned with four spices. It was roasted whole and served simply with a ragoût of truffles, ham sauce or pistachio sauce.
Hints & Tips