Christian communities around the world celebrate Easter or Resurrection Sunday today, and some even observe Easter week for all of the following week. This is the day Jesus came back from the dead, a time for celebration after six weeks of Lent or fasting. Surely then, food is an important part of the festival and it’s more than just chocolate eggs!
Let’s get to know the culinary traditions of Easter in different parts of the world.
1. Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are basically boiled eggs, shelled and cut in half and stuffed with a mixture of yolk, mustard, mayo, spices of anything else that adds a festive flavour to the dish. 26-year old Martin Schneiger, assistant manager at Ashok Piramal Group, celebrates Easter with his family every year and tells us how they celebrate, “It was always fun to look for Easter eggs in the backyard when we were children. My sister used to make fried deviled eggs out of them for supper. One of my fondest childhood memories!”
Tsoureki is a flavoured and layered bread with braided strands of dough. Rooted in Greek cuisine, it is enjoyed as an Easter treat in many parts of Europe and Central Asia. One can add all sorts of flavours to the uncooked dough like orange zest, plant resin, mehlab (spice procured from particular species of cherry), etc. Nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are also included to give crunchiness to the bread. Tsoureki goes well with other dishes or can be consumed independently. Nowadays Tsoureki cookies are also relished on Easter.
Paskha is a traditional Easter bread native to Eastern European countries such as Ukraine. It is a fluffier, richer version of your usual white bread–can be cooked or uncooked, and is delicious in both preparations. The dish is simple yet has a huge significance during Easter. It is often decorated with symbols like three bar cross or the letter X.
4. Carrot Cake
Carrot cake is supposedly the king of desserts on Easter. The recipe is quite basic with grated carrots, eggs, flour and cinnamon used for batter. Carrot cheesecake is a delicious modern twist on the traditional recipe. It isn’t specific to any single country; after all, everybody loves cake!
A Babka is a traditional Polish sweet bread loaded with rum-soaked raisins and nuts. It could have chocolate, cinnamon or vanilla flavoured icing glazed over it. The modern day version of Babka, however, includes a cake with symmetric contour-shaped layers of chocolate. The dish is quite light and is mostly relished on Easter not just in Poland but many other Western countries.
6. Slow Roasted Lamb
Easter celebrations are incomplete without a feast of lamb. Slow roasted lamb is a signature family dinner dish during Easter in England but of course, the tradition is adapted in many different parts of the world including India. Some families also do a roast chicken, but lamb is the clear favourite. Samaira Gupta has her maternal roots in Spain. The 25-year old finance executive at Green Elephant Pvt Ltd talks to us about her favourite Easter food and says, “My mom cooks this incredible roasted lamb spiced with oregano, rosemary and basil. Easter Sunday is one day when we actually have lamb on the lunch menu rather than chicken or mutton. It’s a special treat for us.”
From delectable mains to traditional cakes and sweets, Easter is a party for your palate. What are your favourite Easter treats? Tell us in the comments section below.