Easter in Corsica
The superstitious Corsicans always carry a few chestnuts in their pocket on Holy Thursday. An illness blessed by simple contact with the chestnuts will flee as quickly as it came.
Throughout Corsica on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, penitents parade in long procession, barefoot and wearing cowls on their head. The rural women follow behind them throughout the Way of the Cross, taking advantage of the occasion to collect rosemary branches to flavour their chick pea, garlic and pasta soup, or the cod and white bean stew that is traditionally served on Good Friday. In Bonifacio, it's the day for eating fougasse, dry cakes flavoured with pastis and white wine.
On Easter Sunday, there is no lamb, much less ham, but rather a nice tender kid roasted in the oven. For dessert you'll find the incomparable campanile, a sweet bread shaped like a crown, flavoured with anise and eau-de-vie. Whole hard-cooked eggs are placed into the dough before it is baked, a bit like the Greek Easter bread called tsoureki. Smaller versions contain a single egg in the middle and are called cacavellu.
In Sartena, where fortress-like houses cling to the sides of the rocks, the Catennacio procession takes place Good Friday night when a penitent with chains on his feet and carrying a cross on his shoulder, recreates the walk to Golgotha. Across this picturesque region of Sartena extends the Cuscione plateau, the high refuge of shepherds who make brocciu, a cheese that is a natural filling for delicious little turnovers. There are also pastis-flavoured migheches, little crowns, a tasty pastry to welcome the parish priest when he arrives to bless the house.
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