How is Easter Sunday meal celebrated throughout the world? Does everyone enjoy a Roast Leg of Lamb for lunch? In some countries, the Easter meal is celebrated with many delicacies you may not have heard of, like a dove shaped cake in Italy or white borscht soup in Poland. Some of these are traditional and some symbolic. Our team at Halo Media are a bit obsessed by food, these are some of our favourite Easter celebration meals! View all the pics in the gallery!
Easter favourites from Italy
Colomba di Pasqua – First made popular by a Milanese baker, colomba di pasqua is similar to panettone, but shaped like a dove. Its made with flour, sugar, eggs butter and yeast, and is decorated with almonds and sugar. The dove shape represents peace or Christ.
Pastiera – probably invented in a Neoplitan convent, pastiera is a tart made from ricotta, cooked wheat, candied fruit, cinnamon and orange zest water. The pastiera has to be cooked a few days in advance to allow the fragrances to develop into that unique flavour.
Torta Pasqualina – dates back to about the 16th century and is from Genoa in the Liguria region. It is a savoury Italian pie made with chard, ricotta, fresh herbs and then eggs are broken into the filling, so that the yolks remain whole when cooked. Some skilled chefs can layer their torta pasqualina up to 30 layers, which is to represent the 30 years of Christ’s life.
Casatiello – there are many different varieties of thisEaster bread cake from Campania. It ismade by adding lard or oil and various types of cheese and salami to bread dough.
Easter favourites from Greece
Tsoureki – comes from the old word for round. A brioche-like sweet, egg-enriched bread, rooted in the cuisines of Western and Central Asia. It is often decorated with cherries, red Easter eggs or rosebuds to symbolise the blood of Christ. There are many variations, including vanilla and cardamom flavoured.
Flaouna (flaounes in the plural) – is made on Good Friday to be eaten on Easter Sunday. Eaten on the island of Cyprus by mainly the Orthodox Greeks, flaouna is a sesame topped pastry filled with a mixture of graviera, halloumi, mizithra or kefalotyri cheese, which sometimes includes raisins or sultanas.
Easter favourites from Spain
La Mona de Pascua – a sweet pastry usually decorated with hard-boiled eggs. Monas originated in Catalonia in the 15th century and comes from the Arabic word munna (which means gift). The basic ingredients are flour, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and lemon rind, but there are many other varieties.
Monas – are huge elaborate chocolate Easter eggs constructed with great care to be displayed in shop windows to wide eyed children before Easter. Cake shops compete to see who can make the most elaborate and impressive monas. Usually they are not actually sold or eaten, but go on display at the Museu de la Xocolata (Museum of Chocolate) in Barcelona. Some of the monas are so large and impressive that they are even talked about on the TV news!!
Torrijas – similar to the American French toast, it’s a dessert typically eaten during the Lent and Holy week period. Torrijas is bread soaked in eggs, milk (or wine!!) honey and spices, and then pan-fried in olive oil.
Easter favourites from the United Kingdom
Hot cross buns – Easter would not be complete without a warm hot cross bun. Hot cross buns are spiced buns with currents and an icing cross on the top which symbolises the Crucifixion of Christ. Traditionally served on Good Friday, but now eaten during Easter time.
Simnel Cake – is a cake containing dried fruit, lemon zest and spices and is topped with a marzipan layer. This is usually served with tea as part of the Easter tradition. Historically they were made by maids or servants in medieval times to take home to their mothers. Since Victorian times, the cake has been decorated with 12 marizpan balls representing the 12 apostles.
Easter favourites from Mexico
Capirotada (formally known as “Capirotada de vigilia”) – is a spiced Mexican bread pudding similar to bread pudding. It is made with raisins, cinnamon, a variation of nuts, mulled honey, cloves and aged cheese. The basic ingredients carry a rich symbolism to the suffering of Christ; the bread represents the Body of Christ, the syrup his blood, the raisins the nails on the cross, and the cinnamon sticks the wood of the cross. The melted cheese stands for the Holy Shroud.
Easter favourites from Germany
Chervil soup – is served on Gründonnerstag (Maundy Thursday) or “Green Thursday”. Germans traditionally eat green-coloured foods on this day and chervil soup is quite popular. Reasons for this tradition are disputed, but many believe its to make a fresh start.
Easter favourites from Brazil
Paçoca de Amendoim – apparently the name comes from the indigenous word (tupi-gurani), which means to crumble. The treat is commonly known as just “Paçoca”. It is made from crushed peanuts, sugar and cassava flour that tastes similar to a peanut butter cup. Because it’s a dry treat, it requires an accompanying drink so that you’re not parched after eating it.
Easter favourites from Portugal
Ninho de Pascoa – meaning ‘Easter nest’ is a yellow cake with a hole in the centre and covered with chocolate. Into the hole, Easter eggs and sugared almonds are placed which gives it the birds nest effect.
Folar de Pascoa – is a sweet bread, traditionally flavoured with anise oil and seeds. The dough is made into a round, then four unpeeled hard-boiled eggs are pushed into the dough. Two long piece of dough are placed across the hard-boiled eggs. The eggs can be plain or coloured, and symbolise Resurrection and rebirth. This bread is given to priests and godfathers at Easter time.
Easter favourites from Poland
Barszcz Bialy – is a white borscht soup traditionally served at Easter. It’s made from fermented wheat and contains Polish smoked kielbasa (a type of sausage) chunks of rye bread, chopped hard-boiled eggs and horseradish. The tartness of the soup takes a few days to achieve.
Babka – meaning ‘grandmother’, is a sweet cake glazed with vanilla or chocolate icing and decorated with almonds or candied fruit. The shape signifies the rising of Christ.
Mazurek – is sometimes served as part of a 12 course meal, symbolising the 12 apostles. It’s a treat made from shortcrust with a walnut flavour and covered in a thick chocolate icing, dried fruit and nuts.
Easter favourites from Russia
Pashka (or Pascha, Pashka, Pasha) – means Easter in Russia, but also shares its name with the traditional Russian Easter dessert. Its traditionally a pyramid-shaped dessert made of cream cheese, almonds and glazed fruit. The letters “XB” (which stands for “Christ has risen in Cyrillic) are normally stamped onto the cake, or written in icing, dried fruit or nuts.
Kulich – is eaten by the Orthodox Christians of Russia and Eastern Europe. It is similar to the Italian panettone in that is tall and cylindrical and is made with raisins and dried fruit. Kulich is decorated with white icing, sprinkles and sometimes even flowers. As with the Pashka, it is often stamped with the letters “XB”.